Marc Benioff reveals investments in SpaceX, Planet Labs, Swarm

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a Dragon 2 spacecraft carrying supplies to the International Space Station takes off from pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center. This is the 22nd NASA refueling mission by SpaceX.

Paul Hennessy | LightRocket | Getty Images

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said Monday he was bullish on space, noting he was an investor in Elon Musk’s SpaceX with startups Astra, Swarm Technologies and Planet Labs.

But don’t expect Benioff to join Jeff Bezos on space travel anytime soon. Bezos, who will step down as CEO of Amazon in July, said on Monday he would fly on the first passenger flight from his space company Blue Origin, which is scheduled to launch on July 20.

In an interview broadcast on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”, Benioff congratulated Bezos on the announcement.

“I think it’s very exciting that he’s ready to say ‘If you want to use my product, I’ll use it first,’” Benioff said. “And I think it’s 100% the right decision.”

But it is not certain that he is personally interested in a similar trip.

“I think I might have to take a few Ativans before I get in there,” Benioff said. (Ativan is an anxiety medication.)

One of Benioff’s space investments, Astra, came out of stealth early last year. Astra said in February it was going to be made public through a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) that values ​​the company at $ 2.1 billion. On Monday, the company announced the acquisition from the electric propulsion manufacturer Apollo Fusion.

Although Benioff’s investment in Astra has been reported, his involvement in the other three companies he named has not been disclosed and none are included among his 122 deals listed by PitchBook.

Most notable is SpaceX, the private space company that was valued by investors earlier this year at $ 74 billion. Benioff has praised SpaceX in the past, including a retweet from Musk in May 2020, in which Benioff said “visionary leadership.” It was just as SpaceX was preparing to launch astronauts into space.

Benioff also said he was an investor in Planet Labs, whose satellite technology takes images of space, and Swarm, which aims to provide Internet connectivity from satellites.

“I actually think space is a huge category that we should invest in,” Benioff said, noting that this is an area where Time Ventures, his VC arm, is active. “I think these companies are amazing at the work they do. And the entrepreneurs.”

– CNBC’s Michael Sheetz contributed to this report.

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