Elon Musk recently reclaimed the title of richest person in the world thanks to Tesla shares which have surged this year. But a spin-off and IPO of Starlink, the satellite broadband unit of his private space company SpaceX, would make him considerably richer — and it could happen sooner than some people think.
In January, venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya predicted that a Starlink IPO would take place this year, saying it would be the biggest deal of 2023. He added that Starlink’s valuation “will be at least half of the current private value of SpaceX”.
Earlier this month, the the wall street journal reported that SpaceX was looking to boost its valuation to $150 billion by allowing employees to sell stock. (The company raised $750 million in a valuation of $137 billion in January.) A trust associated with Musk owns 42% of SpaceX, the Log reported last December.
“It wouldn’t be legal for me to speculate on a Starlink IPO,” Musk said on Saturday when asked about it by Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance in a post. Twitter Spaces Discussion. Then he burst out laughing.
“We’re private, but you can’t — I think it’s against regulation to talk about any kind of details about a future public offering,” the SpaceX CEO replied.
Starlink had over 1.5 million customers at the start of May and is the main driver of the valuation of SpaceX.
“This year, Starlink will make money. We actually had a positive cash flow quarter last year,” SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said. said in February.
The Starlink network is designed to provide high-speed Internet access anywhere on the planet via thousands of satellites in low Earth orbit. Vance said he sometimes wonders if Starlink’s business case makes sense given the “incredible amount” being spent on something that “may or may not work” and asked Musk if he also had any doubts.
“The business case isn’t subjective, it’s objective,” Musk replied. “If you can provide a compelling internet connection, where the product quality and price are competitive with terrestrial options – or often there simply aren’t any terrestrial options – then obviously you have a business. So this isn’t super complicated, it’s just, how good are you on the internet and what does it cost.
musk too said that SpaceX made more than 1,000 modifications to the Mars-focused spacecraft, which blew up and failed to reach orbit in April on its first test launch. “The probability that the next flight will work – or get into orbit – is much higher than the previous one,” he said. “Maybe it’s like 60%.”