Elon Musk has provided a quick update about Starlink’s impending (and apparent) initial public offering (IPO). Reiterating a point he mentioned in the past, the SpaceX CEO stated that Starlink would likely go public when its cash flow is reasonably predictable.
Musk’s update came as a response to an inquiry on Twitter Wednesday night, with the CEO responding to a Tesla supporter who noted that he would love to invest in the satellite internet service. The Tesla owner also inquired if Tesla retail investors could be given “first dibs” on Starlink’s IPO.
At least a few years before Starlink revenue is reasonably predictable. Going public sooner than that would be very painful. Will do my best to give long-term Tesla shareholders preference.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 24, 2021
Musk responded positively, though he noted that a Starlink IPO is still a few years away. “At least a few years before Starlink revenue is reasonably predictable. Going public sooner than that would be very painful. Will do my best to give long-term Tesla shareholders preference,” Musk wrote.
The idea of spinning off Starlink into a publicly-traded company was initially mentioned by SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell last year. “Right now, we are a private company, but Starlink is the right kind of business that we can go ahead and take public. That particular piece is an element of the business that we are likely to spin out and go public,” she said.
Starlink is still in its beta phase, though Musk noted back in May that the service had already received over 500,000 preorders. Amidst this demand, SpaceX has been ramping its Starlink launches, with the private space company putting about 1,800 Starlink satellites to orbit as of date. SpaceX may be looking to launch larger batches of Starlink satellites in the future as well using Starship, a vehicle with a much higher payload capacity than the Falcon 9.
In a Macquarie Group technology conference earlier this week, Shotwell mentioned that continuous global internet coverage through Starlink could happen as early as September. “We’ve successfully deployed 1,800 or so satellites, and once all those satellites reach their operational orbit, we will have continuous global coverage, so that should be like September timeframe,” she said.
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