Elon Musk’s SpaceX could take Starlink to IPO by 2025: analysts

Elon Musk said Friday that SpaceX cannot continue to fund Starlink terminals in Ukraine “indefinitely” given the cost. However, Musk, who is also CEO of electric car company Tesla, said on Saturday that SpaceX would continue to fund the Ukrainian government “for free” even though Starlink was “still losing money”.

Adrées Latif | Reuters

Elon Musk could spin off Starlink from SpaceX and complete an initial public offering by 2025, technology analyst firm CCS Insight said in a report.

Starlink uses the satellite to provide high-speed internet access to users and is part of Musk’s space exploration company.

CCS Insight publishes an annual forecast report in the technology sector. In this year’s edition, published on Tuesday, the analyst firm said that as “Starlink’s revenue becomes more predictable and it gains more and more users, the company is splitting up to raise capital to expand its constellation of satellites” to meet growing demand for its services. .

“We think that makes perfect sense,” Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC in an interview. “Starlink is going to have to invest heavily.”

Wood said an initial public offering (IPO) will help spur investment in SpaceX, spur international expansion and “make Starlink the go-to player in satellite broadband.”

SpaceX executives have been talking about an IPO for the past two years. In 2021, Musk said SpaceX would release Starlink when revenue becomes more predictable.

Earlier this year, Musk told employees that a Starlink IPO was unlikely before 2025 or later, CNBC reported, citing the billionaire’s comments during a show of hands of SpaceX employees.

Musk was previously targeting a bid as early as this year, according to an email to SpaceX employees obtained by CNBC. The email, sent by Musk in May 2019, said “it will probably make sense to go public with Starlink in about three years.”

Starlink has recently come into the limelight due to its role in the Russian-Ukrainian war. SpaceX donated Starlink internet terminals to Ukraine to keep the country’s military online during the war against Russia, even if the communications infrastructure is destroyed.

But Musk said Friday that SpaceX cannot continue to fund Starlink terminals in Ukraine “indefinitely” given the cost. However, Musk, who is also the CEO of an electric car company You’re heresaid on Saturday that SpaceX would continue to fund the Ukrainian government “for free” even though Starlink was “still losing money.”

CNBC’s Michael Sheetz contributed to this report.

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