On Wednesday, Elon Musk denied rumors that his space company SpaceX is discussing the possibility of making its satellite internet branch, Starlink, a publicly traded company through an initial public offering (IPO) by 2024.
He called the claim “false” in response to a post on the social media platform X, which shared a Bloomberg News report suggesting that SpaceX was moving the assets of the Starlink unit to a wholly-owned subsidiary, setting the stage for a spin-off.
Starlink’s Plan to Go Public
The well-known business person had previously explained his intention to make Starlink a publicly traded company once its revenue growth and cash flow became stable and predictable. Earlier this month, he shared that Starlink had reached a point where its cash flow was balanced.
SpaceX, valued at around $150 billion, is the first private company to successfully transport humans to orbit. Its innovations, such as reusable rockets that significantly reduce launch costs, have influenced competitors like Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.
Starlink is the biggest satellite operator globally. Just this week, it secured a contract to offer free internet services in Mexico until the end of 2026.
In the previous month, Musk mentioned that Starlink would offer internet connectivity to internationally recognized aid organizations in Gaza.
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal from September, Starlink saw a significant increase in revenue last year, reaching $1.4 billion, a more than six-fold surge.
However, this fell short of the targets set by CEO Elon Musk, as outlined in documents. The report mentions a 2015 presentation by the company forecasting that the division would generate nearly $12 billion in revenue and $7 billion in operating profit by 2022.
Additionally, Starlink has been slower in gaining customers than initially expected. By the end of 2022, the unit had just over a million active subscribers, a pace notably lower than earlier expectations, as highlighted in the Journal’s report.
Elon Musk refuted claims of SpaceX’s potential Starlink IPO, calling them false. Despite setbacks and slower customer acquisition, Starlink’s recent achievements include a balanced cash flow, a major satellite contract in Mexico, and a commitment to provide internet for aid organizations. SpaceX’s pioneering innovations continue to shape the space industry.