While SpaceX isn’t sending people into space yet, Tesla boss Elon Musk’s ‘other’ baby is already on a path to transform space flight operations and economics. This is largely thanks to its own Falcon 9 re-useable rocket (well, part of it can re-land), technology that is truly disrupting SpaceX projects.
SpaceX runs many of Nasa’s projects and has Mars and beyond in its sights. A new Falcon Heavy rocket, designed to carry goods and people between Earth and the red planet, could be a step forward, but it’s a growing satellites industry that is likely to drive profitability, when it comes.
SpaceX remains privately-owned but Google and Fidelity Investments have poured more than $1.6bn of growth funding into the company. A stock market float isn’t out of the question in the medium to long term. (SF)
Often compared to Facebook, in truth Tencent has built an ecosystem in its China backyard that is far wider and deeper than its US peer. At the heart of this network is a wealth of messaging and social networking platforms, namely WeChat and QQ.
WeChat is a phenomenon and one of the world’s fastest growing social apps. Released in 2011, the platform combines messaging, social communication and lots of mobile games, all in a single easy-to-use app that has more than 1bn monthly active users.
Online payments, shopping and leisure activities are also wrapped into the platform, meaning users barely need to go anywhere else.
QQ.com is China’s largest local language portal integrating news, interactive communities, entertainment products and widely-used basic services. Vast growth potential remains in China but Tencent is also eyeing overseas expansion.
UK investors can buy the Hong Kong-listed stock via most UK investment platforms or they could get exposure by a variety funds and investment trust such as Martin Currie Asia
Unconstrained (MCP). (SF)
The business has completely disrupted the taxi market and has aspirations to be a much broader transport group. Uber wants its app to be a one-stop-shop for ride hailing, bike and scooter sharing, car rentals and public transport.
It won’t be a smooth ride as Uber faces regulatory, cultural and competitive hurdles. Yet significant progress on the taxi side would suggest it has the vigour to overcome problems.
Uber is expected to float on a stock market in 2019. Morningstar valued it at $110bn in July and forecasts profitability in 2022. ‘We project that Uber’s net revenue will grow at a 27% average annual pace over the next 10 years to $82.4bn,’ it adds. (DC)