The rumours of a possible IPO began earlier this year when SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell told investors “we are likely to spin out and go public.”
Just weeks later at an industry conference, Musk backtracked the statement from Shotwell, saying SpaceX was putting “zero” thought towards a public offering. His focus he said was instead getting the service up and running first.
As he can sometimes do, Musk appears to have changed his mind, saying on Twitter an IPO is likely to happen in a few years, but not before the company has shown consistent revenue growth.
He also said retail investors will get first priority when it does.
We will probably IPO Starlink, but only several years in the future when revenue growth is smooth & predictable. Public market does *not* like erratic cash flow haha. I’m a huge fan of small retail investors. Will make sure they get top priority. You can hold me to it.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 28, 2020
Currently the Starlink project is funded from SpaceX’s contracts with NASA, and private market funding. The company was recently able to raise $1.9 billion in a recent funding round, giving it a value of $46 billion, reports Observer.
There are currently more than 770 Starlink satellites in low-earth orbit. In order to provide steady and reliable high-speed internet service around the globe, the company is hoping to have 12,000 satellites in orbit, with a possible expansion to as many as 42,000.
They are currently manufacturing about 120 satellites every month, launching up to 60 or more on every Falcon 9 flight, with can happen as often as every two weeks.