Marc Benioff reveals investment in SpaceX, but says hed need a couple of Ativans to leave Earth – CNBC2 min read

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/07/marc-benioff-reveals-investments-in-spacex-planet-labs-swarm-.html

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

Paul Hennessy | LightRocket | Getty Images

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

But don’t expect Benioff to join Jeff Bezos on a space trip anytime soon. Bezos, who is stepping aside as Amazon CEO in July, said Monday that he’ll fly on the first passenger flight of his space company Blue Origin, which is expected to launch on July 20.

In an interview that aired on CNBC’s “Closing Bell,” Benioff commended Bezos on the announcement.

“I think it’s very exciting that he’s willing to basically say, ‘If you want to use my product, I will use it first,'” Benioff said. “And I think that that’s 100% the right move.”

But he’s not sure he’s personally interested in taking a similar trip.

“I think I might have to take a couple of Ativans before I climb in there,” Benioff said. (Ativan is an anti-anxiety medication.)

One of Benioff’s space investments, Astra, came out of stealth early last year. Astra said in February that it’s going public through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that values the business at $2.1 billion. On Monday, the company announced the acquisition of electric propulsion maker Apollo Fusion.

While Benioff’s investment in Astra has been reported, his involvements in the other three companies he named have 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 commended SpaceX in the past, including a retweet of Musk in May 2020, in which Benioff said “visionary leadership.” That was just as SpaceX was preparing to launch astronauts into space.

Benioff also said he’s an investor Planet Labs, whose satellite technology takes images from space, and Swarm, which aims to provide internet connectivity from satellites.

“I actually think that space is a huge category that we should invest in,” Benioff said, noting that it’s an area where Time Ventures, his VC arm, is active. “I think those companies are amazing in the work they’re doing. and the entrepreneurs.”

— CNBC’s Michael Sheetz contributed to this report.

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