Elon Musk’s Starlink Could Become ‘Go-To Player’ in Satellite Internet Market, Likely To Offer IPO by 2025

Starlink Resumes Service In Ukraine, Warsaw, Poland - 18 Oct 2022
STR / NurPhoto / Shutterstock.com

Elon Musk’s Starlink — SpaceX’s satellite internet service — could go public by 2025, CCS Insight indicated in an Oct. 18 report. This would be very welcome news for investors who have anxiously been waiting for an initial public offering (IPO).

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As CNBC reported, CCS Insight suggested that as Starlink’s “revenue becomes more predictable and it gains more and more users, the company is spun off to raise capital to expand its constellation of satellites” in order to meet growing demand for its services.

“We think it makes perfect sense,” Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC. “Starlink is going to need to invest heavily.”

Wood told CNBC that an IPO would “make Starlink the go-to player for satellite broadband.”

Despite investors’ enthusiasm for a potential IPO, in June, Musk said that it wouldn’t happen before 2025, as GOBankingRates previously reported.

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“I’m not sure exactly when that [IPO] is, but maybe it will be like — I don’t know, just guessing — three or four years from now,” Musk said at an all-hands meeting of the private company’s employees on June 2, according to an audio recording obtained by CNBC.

Musk said that the Starlink business needs to be “in a smooth sailing situation” with “good predictability,” according to CNBC, adding at that point, “I think spinning it off as a public company can make a lot of sense.”

Musk Expresses Frustration Over Starlink Costs in Support of Ukraine

On Oct. 18, Musk tweeted that the company was losing $20 million a month, largely due to its donation of material and service to Ukraine.

“No money from DoD, but several other countries, orgs & individuals are paying for ~11k/25k terminals (thanks!). SpaceX is losing ~$20M/month due to unpaid service & costs related to enhanced security measures for cyberwar defense, but we’ll keep doing it (sigh),” Musk tweeted. 

So far, about 20,000 Starlink satellite units have been donated to Ukraine, according to CNN. However, Musk tweeted earlier this month that the “operation has cost SpaceX $80 million and will exceed $100 million by the end of the year.”

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CNN reported that, in September, Musk’s SpaceX sent a letter to the Pentagon requesting that it take over funding for Ukraine’s use of Starlink.

“We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time,” SpaceX’s director of government sales wrote to the Pentagon, according to CNN.

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However, on Oct. 17, Musk tweeted: “SpaceX has already withdrawn its request for funding.”

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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