Marc Benioff reveals investments in SpaceX, Planet Labs, Swarm

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said Monday that he is optimistic about space, noting that he is an investor in Elon Musk’s SpaceX along with startups Astra, Swarm Technologies and Planet Labs.

But don’t expect Benioff to join Jeff Bezos on a space trip anytime soon. Bezos, who will step down as Amazon CEO in July, said on Monday that he will fly 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 praised Bezos for the announcement.

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

But you are not sure if you are personally interested in taking a similar trip.

“I think I might have to take a couple of Ativans before I go up 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 will go 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 interests in the other three companies he named have not been disclosed, and none are included among his 122 deals listed by PitchBook.

Most notably, 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 May 2020 retweet from Musk, in which Benioff said “visionary leadership.” That was just when SpaceX was preparing to launch astronauts into space.

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

“In fact, I think space is a huge category that we should invest in,” Benioff said, noting that it is an area where Time Ventures, his venture capital arm, is active. “I think these companies are incredible at the work they are doing and the entrepreneurs.”

– CNBC’s Michael Sheetz contributed to this report.

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