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The company rings the Nasdaq bell from its headquarters on Aug. 25, 2021.
Rocket Lab

Khosla Ventures, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm founded by Indian-American billionaire Vinod Khosla, made multiple early bets on Rocket Lab that are paying off enormously now that the space company is public.

The VC firm invested $28.2 million across several Rocket Lab funding rounds between 2013 and 2020, according to a disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Khosla now holds just over 115 million shares of Rocket Lab’s common stock.

At Rocket Lab’s closing price of $14.50 a share on Tuesday, the Khosla stake is worth $1.67 billion.

Rocket Lab’s stock is up more than 40% since the company closed its SPAC merger and debuted on the Nasdaq on Aug. 25. The company’s shares rose as much as 6% in trading Wednesday, on track for its fifth consecutive day of gains.

Khosla is poised to benefit even more if Rocket Lab’s stock continues to climb: A clause in its Rocket Lab investment entitles Khosla to an addition 9.3 million shares if the stock’s closing price is at or above $20 a share for at least 20 days between Nov. 23 and Feb. 21.

The venture capital firm is among a number of investors benefiting from a flurry of space companies going public this year. Six space companies have closed SPAC deals so far in 2021 – Rocket Lab, AST & ScienceAstraSpire GlobalMomentus, and Redwire – and several more are expected to go public by year-end, with deals in progress by BlackSkySatellogic and Planet. The first space company in this latest generation to go public through a SPAC was Virgin Galactic, and founder Sir Richard Branson has benefited by selling more than $950 million of the company’s stock in sales.

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