Billionaire Elon Musk announced that Starlink—a satellite internet offering from his aerospace company, SpaceX—“achieved breakeven cash flow” on Thursday, just months after news broke that the offering had greatly increased its revenue, but fallen short of Musk’s expectations last year.
Musk said in the announcement—which was posted to another of his companies, X, formerly known as Twitter—that Starlink is now “a majority of all active satellites and will have launched a a [sic] majority of all satellites cumulatively from Earth by next year.”
Starlink describes itself as the world’s “first and largest satellite constellation” that delivers broadband internet using a low Earth orbit.
SpaceX has proven to be one of Musk’s most successful companies and was worth almost $150 billion this summer, nearly quintupling its value over the last four years.
In September, the Wall Street Journal reported that Starlink’s revenue hit $1.4 billion last year, which was an increase of more than one billion over the previous year but was still short of what Musk wanted.
Forbes estimates that Musk is worth $228.1 billion as of Thursday, making him the wealthiest person in the world.
Starlink first launched its satellites in 2019 and, as of July, almost 5,000 small satellites have been launched to beam high-speed internet to ground terminals placed almost anywhere in the world. The internet service is now available anywhere in the United States, but memos seen by the Wall Street Journal earlier this year showed subscribers are far below Musk’s original predictions: At the end of 2022, there were more than one million active subscribers, but Musk had predicted in 2015 there would be 20 million.
Because of Starlink’s accessibility, it has become a popular option for communication in rural areas and other places where communication methods are difficult, including war zones like Ukraine, where the company sent thousands of terminals after Russia invaded last year to reestablish communications for the Ukrainian military. After posting last week that “SpaceX will support communication links with internationally recognized aid organizations,” Musk admitted he was feeling global pressure to offer Starlink internet to Gaza after Israeli airstrikes took out nearly all communications in the area last week. But, there hasn’t been any more information or clarification about how and when the terminals needed to get internet service through Starlink would be set up in Gaza.
ReutersStarlink achieves cash-flow breakeven, says SpaceX CEO MuskMORE FROM FORBESSpaceX’s Starlink Revenue Jumps To $1.4 Billion But Falls Short Of Early Targets, Report Says-As Musk-Ukraine Controversy BrewsBy William SkipworthMORE FROM FORBESMusk Admits Feeling Pressure Over Providing Starlink To GazaBy Mary Whitfill Roeloffs