The space company is perhaps Musk’s best-known company, along with electric car company Tesla, but unlike Tesla, it does not offer stock to the general public. Tesla was founded in 2003 and filed for an initial public offering in 2010 at $ 17 per share. Tesla shocked investors when its total market valuation surpassed $ 400 billion this year, making it the world’s most valuable automaker.
Musk founded SpaceX in 2002 but has yet to announce any plans for such an “IPO” that would allow members of the public to invest.
On Monday, Musk said on Twitter that the company was “likely” to conduct an initial public offering of Starlink shares in the SpaceX business. This concerns the satellite Internet constellation SpaceX, which is in the process of launching. The system is designed to provide high speed Internet with low latency.
But before that happens, there are a few things that need to be changed:
“We are likely to have a Starlink IPO, but only a few years in the future when revenue growth is smooth and predictable. The public market doesn’t like erratic cash flow. I’m a big fan of small retail investors. You can keep me on this. “The comments hint at the biggest problem with investing in SpaceX: Musk has focused the company on researching long-term projects with future returns. Musk expressed concerns that the release of the information could interfere with goals such as sending people to Mars and creating a city.
In Ashley Vance’s 2015 biography of Musk, the CEO reportedly emailed all SpaceX employees in 2013 asking for publicity. He explained that “he is increasingly concerned that SpaceX will go public before the Mars transportation system is in place.” This “always” was the company’s number one goal, he said. Given the “long-term nature” of the company’s goal and Musk’s experience of going public with Tesla and SolarCity, Musk explained that he was “hesitant to impose publicity on SpaceX.”
Starlink focused on better internet access could be a different story. The service consists of a series of thousands of satellites orbiting at a low altitude of about 550 kilometers, providing gigabit internet speeds and faster response times than traditional satellite ISPs. SpaceX launched the first batch of 60 satellites in May 2019, with 11 more batches at the time of writing. It has launched a private beta for select testers, and old marketing literature claims that it will offer services in the United States and Canada in 2020.
It’s unclear how much SpaceX can make from Starlink, but Musk was upbeat. In May 2019, he told reporters that the global internet connectivity industry generates about $ 1 trillion in revenue per year. He argued that SpaceX could access three or even five percent of that market. Musk said the company believes that “we can use the proceeds from Starlink to fund Starship.” Musk once calculated that a city on Mars could be worth up to $ 10 trillion.
This is not the first time that SpaceX officials have speculated that Starlink could go public. Company President Gwynne Shotwell told Bloomberg in February that Starlink is “a piece of business that we are likely to disclose and make public.” But Musk said at the Satellite 2020 conference in Washington, DC the following month that he was not thinking about the idea.
REVERSE ANALYSIS – SpaceX fans are eager to invest their money in the company and show their support. While there are several indirect ways to invest, Starlink IPOs may be more attractive for some.
Musk has previously suggested that he sees the IPO as an obstacle to long-term goals similar to those of SpaceX, and in 2018 he is known to have tried to partially privatize Tesla to “stay focused on our long-term mission.” It’s also likely that investors will scrutinize SpaceX’s ambitious plan to spend up to $ 10 trillion on a city on Mars. But for a business like Starlink, which is focused on generating stable income rather than spending trillions on ambitious plans, the investment may be a more tempting prospect.
However, as noted on Monday, SpaceX will have to make Starlink’s revenue more predictable in order to satisfy investors.
STARLINK, THE SPACEX INTERNET CONNECTION GROUP, is ready to offer services to more users than ever before.
On Tuesday, CEO Elon Musk shared via Twitter that the company is planning a “fairly wide” public beta of the service as soon as the last satellites “reach their target position.”
This beta will be available to users in the northern US and hopefully southern Canada. From there, Musk stated that the goal would be to expand to other countries “as soon as we get regulatory approval.”
The comments provide an indication of when Starlink will hit users’ homes. The service is designed to provide high-speed, low-latency Internet service to virtually anyone with a ground terminal pointing towards the sky. Starlink aims to offer a better service than the competition by putting satellites in a lower orbit of 550 kilometers and sending much more, with a single app requesting 42,000 satellites.
SpaceX launched its first batch of satellites in May 2019. The 13th and final batch of 60 satellites was launched on Tuesday at 7:29 am ET. The Falcon 9 rocket was launched from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. After launch, the launch vehicle successfully landed on the drone “Of course, I still love you”, and half of the fairing landed on the ship “Miss Three”.
So when will the satellites reach their target position this week? Previous experience shows that this can take about four months.
Elias Eckley, a physics student from Innsbruck, Austria, uploaded an updated visualization of the Starlink constellation at the end of August. Ackley, who spoke to Inverse in May about a previous version of his renderings, explained at the time that the diagram shows when the ship reaches the desired orbit.
“Once they reach a working orbit, their speed exactly matches the imaginary reference satellite, so they appear to be stopping,” he said.
The video shows how the Starlink launch on November 11, 2019, gradually expanded by a third. The first third was commissioned at the end of December. By the end of March 2020, most of the batch had been commissioned. This data is corroborated by the Twitter account StarlinkUpdates, which shows that each batch currently takes about four months to reach its desired orbit.
This assumes that a third of the last batch will be ready by the end of November, and the full batch will be online early next year.
With regard to international expansion, Musk suggested that this would be subject to regulatory approval. SpaceX has filed applications for its satellites with the International Telecommunication Union. He also took steps with the Australian authorities to obtain approval for his services.
SpaceX’s website claims that the company intends to begin offering services in the northern US and Canada this year, before expanding globally next year.
In April 2020, Musk announced plans to offer a private beta three months later and a public beta six months later. Private beta testing began rolling out in the summer, and documents showed that the early phase targeted users between latitude 44 and 52 degrees.
REVERSE ANALYSIS – Recent comments suggest Musk may have slightly revised Starlink’s pumping. At first glance, this is not too surprising, since Musk is so famous for delaying launches that Elon Time was added to the Urban Dictionary. Notably, Starlink has so far followed the schedule set by Musk: the private beta did indeed launch about three months after April.
One of the reasons could be an unexpected delay in Starlink startup. The most recent batch was supposed to be released on September 17, but weather conditions caused the company to be delayed by almost a month. The previous launch was also postponed from August 30 to September 3 due to poor weather conditions.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Musk posted a message this week that the firm “will need to make many improvements to have a chance to complete 48 launches next year.”