SpaceX’s Starlink will be profitable in 2023, but no update on potential IPO: Gwynne Shotwell

A little over two years after first launching their beta testing program, SpaceX has had their first profitable quarter last year, leading President and COO Gwynne Shotwell to state the company will make money in 2023.

Shotwell made the comments while speaking at the FAA’s annual Commercial Space Transportation conference in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, although she didn’t specify which quarter was profitable for the company.

“This year, Starlink will make money. We actually had a cash flow positive quarter last year,” Shotwell said. (via CNBC)

The statement that SpaceX will make money in 2023 naturally lead to the question of when the company might file to go public. Previously CEO Elon Musk has stated than an initial public offering (IPO) will only happen once Starlink is “in a smooth sailing situation” with “good predictability.” Most recently during an all-hands meeting last June Musk told employees that an IPO wasn’t likely for another two or three years, putting a potential IPO as late as 2025.

Shotwell didn’t provide a new timeline for an IPO, only saying “no update” when asked for one by reporters on Wednesday.

A successful quarter for Starlink is no surprise considering the exponential growth in subscriber count the company experienced in 2022. At the start of the year there were about 145,000 active Starlink users, and by the end of 2022 that number had exploded to 1 million. Those subscribers are spread across a variety of different Starlink tiers from residential users which pay about $110USD per month, or the equivalent in their currency, to Starlink RV, Starlink Business, Starlink Maritime, and Starlink Aviation, which costs anywhere from $12,500 to $25,000USD per month.

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