Elon Musk, who recently supplanted his galactic rival Jeff Bezos as the world's richest man, will add another bragging right over the Amazon founder as financial experts predict the Tesla boss will become the first trillionaire due to the exponential growth of SpaceX.
In a note titled 'SpaceX Escape Velocity ... Who Can Catch Them?' Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said that Musk's aerospace company SpaceX is on track to propel the 50-year-old to trillionaire status.
Jonas wrote that the innovative SpaceX 'is challenging any preconceived notion of what was possible and the time frame possible, in terms of rockets, launch vehicles and supporting infrastructure,' Bloomberg reported.
Elon Musk (pictured with then-President Donald Trump in background) saw his wealth swell after a share sale at SpaceX earlier this month
Musk last week dethroned Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (pictured) as the world's richest person -whose wealth was estimated at $198.7 billion
Currently, SpaceX makes up less than 17 percent of Musk's $241.4 billion net worth, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which has the Tesla CEO at the top of the list, ahead of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who had held the No. 1 spot for years.
According to Jonas, SpaceX's advantage is that it functions as multiple companies in one that include space infrastructure, Earth observation, deep-space exploration and other industries.
SpaceX, which Musk owns about half of, is now the second-most valuable private company worldwide behind only China’s Bytedance, according to CB Insights.
The company's Starlink satellite-communications business is the biggest contributor to his valuation estimate, Bloomberg reported.
Starlink is a satellite internet constellation operated by the company that provides satellite Internet access to most of the world.
SpaceX has already launched 1,740 Starlink satellites to date, currently providing an internet network to over 100,000 users in 14 different countries who are a part of the project's public beta, with service priced at $99 a month.
The success of SpaceX adds to Musk's already massive net worth, which is mostly made up of Tesla shares.
Musk recently saw his and his SpaceX company's wealth swell after a share sale at SpaceX on October 8 worth $100 billion in a secondary offering.
The company had an agreement with both new and existing investors to sell up to $755 million in SpaceX stock from insiders at $560 per share, multiple people close with the deal told CNBC.
The 33 percent increase in its new share price brings the company’s valuation to $100.3 billion after initially offering the deal to investors in February, when SpaceX's valuation stood at $74 billion at 419.19 a share.
The first round of offerings raised nearly $1.2 billion, the outlet reports.
After share sale helped push his net worth pass $230 billion last weekend, officially making him the richest man on the planet.
The Tesla CEO became the third person in the world to be worth $200 billion last month, beating Bezos to the top spot
SpaceX Falcon 9 pictured lifting off with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule in May 2020
The highly successful Space X only adds to Musk's net worth, which is mostly made up of Tesla shares which continue to surge
Elon Musk replied to Bezos' tweet with a No.2 medal after surpassing him as the world's richest man
The feat was especially impressive considering that Musk just joined the Forbes top ten billionaire list in the middle of last year.
The South African-born entrepreneur began his career co-founding PayPal before moving on to found SpaceX and Tesla Motors in the early 2000s.
Musk is now currently wealthier than Bill Gates and Warren Buffett combined and upon dethroning Amazon founder Bezos, who previously held the title of world's richest person at $198.7 billion as of 2021, Musk was quick to boast.
The Tesla CEO snarkily tweeted a second-place medal at Bezos after the Blue Origin and Amazon founder shared some motivational words about his company last week, which he previously promised he would do when he surpassed Bezos's net worth.
'I'm sending a giant statue of the digit '2' to Jeffrey B., along with a silver medal,' Musk told Forbes in an email in September.
Forbes Real-Time Top Ten Billionaires List
- Elon Musk - $241.4 billion
2. Jeff Bezos -$198.9 billion
3. Bernard Arnault and family - $160.5 billion
4. Bill Gates - $132 billion
5. Larry Page - $120.9 billion
6. Mark Zuckerberg - $126.7 billion
6. Sergey Brin - $122.9 billion
7. Larry Ellison- $ 111.9 billion
8. Sergey Brin - $122.9 billion
9. Steve Ballmer- $110.2 billion
10. Warren Buffett - $103.5 billion
According to Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List as of October 19, 2021
Bezos became the first person to reach the $200 billion milestone in August 2020 and since then the pair have leap-frogged each other for the top spot in the past.
Bezos is one of a number of billionaire entrepreneurs fueling what has been dubbed the 'new space race', with each pumping billions of dollars into their respective startups with the aim of creating cheap, commercialized space travel.
He founded Blue Origin in September 2000 and is currently funding the company to the tune of about $1 billion per year through the sale of his shares in Amazon.
Musk, meanwhile founded SpaceX in 2002, and has since built rockets capable of shuttling satellites and other cargo into Earth's orbit. The company is now working on creating a spaceship that will take humans to the moon and mars, though Musk himself has not left Earth.
The billionaire's Twitter spat came after Musk said earlier this month that Tesla’s headquarters were moving from Palo Alto, California, to Austin, Texas to take advantage of the state’s lack of personal income tax.
He was also following through on a promise he made more than a year ago in response to California’s strict coronavirus guidelines.
Musk has promised that Tesla will expand its operations in Fremont, California, despite relocating its headquarters. The Fremont plant employs more than 10,000 people.
It’s not known how many people are employed at the Palo Alto headquarters, but Tesla has previously said that the 350,000-square-foot building could accommodate up to 650 people.
The company has touted itself as one of California’s largest manufacturing employees; it said on its website that it stimulated $5.5billion in sales – and generated $4.1billion in spending- during the 2017 fiscal year.
Musk said that Tesla, which has been in Silicon Valley since 2003, has outgrown its Fremont factory.
‘It’s like we’re spam in a can here,’ he said during last Thursday’s announcement, adding that there’s sparse affordable housing and a lot of workers have a long commute.
But in Texas, Musk said, ‘Our factory’s like five minutes from the airport, 15 minutes from downtown and we’re gonna create ecological paradise right here.’
While he did not give a timeline of when Tesla’s headquarters in Texas will be operational, he noted that it takes less time to build a factory than it does to reach high-volume production.
He said that the plant in Texas will closely resemble Tesla’s Shanghai plant, which was built in 11 months and reached high-volume production after a year.
Musk personally moved to Texas last December.