Elon Musk is already the world’s richest man with an estimated net worth of $253.8 billion, and investment analysts say trillionaire status is likely.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley predict that the 50-year old CEO, who has made the majority of his wealth through Tesla, could make much more from his cutting-edge aerospace company SpaceX.
Adam Jonas is Morgan Stanley’s head of global auto and mobility research, who has successfully predicted many big Wall Street movements, most famously, the doubling of Tesla’s share price to $70 in 2011. Since stopping by SpaceX the same year, Jonas has been gathering other analysts to help him research the space industry.
“More than one client has told us if Elon Musk were to become the first trillionaire … it won’t be because of Tesla,” Jonas said, according to The Guardian. “Others have said SpaceX may eventually be the most highly valued company in the world—in any industry.”
SpaceX currently makes up less than 17% of Elon Musk’s net worth, and that’s after the private company was valued at $100.3 billion in a secondary share sale earlier this month – You cannot publicly buy SpaceX stock at this time, but private investors have a stake in the company.
The reason why SpaceX, not Tesla (which is currently estimated at a whopping $1 trillion itself), will make Elon a trillionaire is because of the future opportunities beyond Earth, according to Jonas. While there’s money to be made on Earth, there’s even more to be made off-planet.
Most promising for SpaceX is Starlink. The company’s play on providing fast, reliable satellite internet to populations with little or no connectivity. The Starlink constellation, said Jonas, is leading in the low-earth orbit race on a few key fronts, such as a nationwide rollout expected this month, as stated by Musk.
While still in beta, the already successful service has over 100,000 customers and began taking $99 preorder deposits in February with 500,000 to date.
Elon has said in the past he believes SpaceX could access about 3% or 5% of total global internet connectivity revenue, which he estimated at $1 trillion. This would be a massive source of income for the space company, which Elon Musk owns about 48% of.
If SpaceX can successfully tap into satellite internet and a range of other potential industries including space infrastructure, Earth observation, and deep-space exploration in the next decade, the value of the privately held space company will skyrocket him, Jonas estimates, into trillionaire status.
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