December 15th, 2015

Elon Musk says he's planning to take his satellite internet business public in 'several years' once 'revenue growth is smooth & predictable'

Elon Musk SpaceXREUTERS/Steve Nesius

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced in a tweet Monday that he will "probably" take SpaceX's internet-based satellite venture, Starlink, public at some point in the future.

"We will probably IPO Starlink, but only several years in the future when revenue growth is smooth & predictable," Musk said.

He also promised to prioritize smaller investors in a potential public offering, saying the "public market does *not* like erratic cash flow haha. I'm a huge fan of small retail investors. Will make sure they get top priority. You can hold me to it."

Tweet Embed:
//twitter.com/mims/statuses/1310672832783884290?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw
We will probably IPO Starlink, but only several years in the future when revenue growth is smooth & predictable. Public market does *not* like erratic cash flow haha. I'm a huge fan of small retail investors. Will make sure they get top priority. You can hold me to it.

Musk said last year that Starlink was an important new revenue stream for his California-based Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX.

SpaceX President and COO Gwynne Shotwell in February floated the idea of spinning Starlink off for an IPO in the coming years.

"Starlink is the right kind of business that we can go ahead and take public," Shotwell said, according to Bloomberg. "That particular piece is an element of the business that we are likely to spin out and go public."

SpaceX is racing to build out its Starlink satellite constellation to offer broadband internet commercially by the end of 2020.

But some astronomers have raised concerns that Starlink satellites could wreak havoc in space, and that they've already disrupted astronomical imaging. Some legal experts have also argued that the Federal Communications Commission's decision to allow Starlink to launch its constellation of tens of thousands of satellites could have been illegal.

(Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru: Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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