Enter the Dragon (Finalist)

About this project


I decided to focus on the Aerospace Unicorns, in particular, highlighting a parallel between two fellow South Africans making waves in the aerospace and venture capital spaces as the two go hand in hand.

Elon Musk with SpaceX and Roelof Botha from Sequoia Capital is a testament to the world-class talent hidden in South Africa.


Who are the Space Unicorns in the Valley?

A Unicorn is a privately held startup valued at over $1 billion.

Pro Tip - how to read the Graph?

The Dragon capsule represents the unicorn Aerospace market based on company valuation. The slices indicate the share in the market.


What location is best to set up an Aerospace shop?


50% of the companies are situated in California, the only exception being in the UAE.

How long does it take for a startup to become an Aerospace unicorn?


Space X took 10 years to be called an aerospace unicorn compared to the average duration of 6.2 years

3 out of the 8 unicorns achieved this milestone in record time - only 4years.

Number 2 ranked - Relativity Number 4 ranked- ABL Number 5 ranked- Epirus

What year did the startups achieve the status of Aerospace unicorn?


Space X was the first ever to retrieve the rocket back to its target. The legs, fins, and algorithms took them 7 years to develop and ultimately led to reducing the cost of space travel by almost 10 times!

The launch price originally was $35k per kilogram on the Minotaur-C launch vehicle versus the $4k per Kilogram on Falcon 9.

The success of Space X paved the way for the next generation of Aerospace startups, and it also created excitement with venture capitalists to invest in the future of space travel.

This can clearly be seen as 75% of the companies in this industry reached Unicorn Status in the last 2 years. (2020-2022)

How is the Space Fuel (funding) distributed in the Aerospace environment?

Fun Fact

The latest 'Green' Rocket Fuel is actually Salmon-Colored.


Space X received $7bn in Funding since it started in 2002.

Musk used most of the proceeds from his PayPal stake to fund SpaceX. Elon contributed $100m in the early days by his own account.

NASA's budget for the financial year (FY) 2020 is $22.6 billion. It represents 0.48% of the $4.7 trillion the United States plans to spend in the fiscal year. Since its inception, the United States has spent nearly US$650 billion (in nominal dollars) on NASA.

How does Space X compare to the Top 5 Unicorns in the galaxy


Space X is ranked joined second based on company valuation.

AI company Bytedance who created TikTok is the Top Unicorn in the galaxy.

Another South African making head-waves is Roelof Botha. He is the Senior Steward of the world's most celebrated private equity firm, Sequoia Capital.


What do Roelof and Elon have in common?

They were both born in Pretoria, South Africa. They worked together at PayPal. He is assisting Elon to buy Twitter by instructing his company to plow $800m into Musk's bid for Twitter, making him the second-highest financier on the list.

And of course, Elon has some fans flag

In conclusion, to succeed as a Space Unicorn requires a tremendous amount of funding as it's an expensive industry with zero margins for error.

Well done to Elon!

Additional project images

Discussion and feedback(0 comments)
2000 characters remaining