Space Exploration Technologies Corp. said Tuesday that Google Inc. and Fidelity Investments had invested $1 billion in the rocket maker, giving them a combined stake of almost 10%.
The money gives SpaceX cash as it explores new ways to connect people to the Internet.
By teaming up with SpaceX, Google is seeking to gain an edge over rivals such as Facebook Inc., which is working on projects to deliver Internet service to underserved regions by building drones, satellites and lasers. WorldVu Satellites Ltd., backed by Qualcomm Inc. and Virgin Group, has begun a similar effort.
Google and Fidelity join Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn as SpaceX owners, the Hawthorne company said in a statement.
Google has already unveiled Project Loon, a network of balloons designed to connect people to the Web in hard-to-reach areas of the world. The Mountain View, Calif., company also said the acquisition last year of satellite start-up Skybox Imaging Inc. may eventually help improve Internet access.