SpaceX’s Starlink has “achieved breakeven cash flow,” CEO Elon Musk said Thursday, a milestone achievement for the rocket company’s four-year-old satellite internet business unit.
He announced the news in a post on X, the social media platform that he also owns. He added that Starlink “is also now a majority of all active satellites and will have launched a majority of all satellites cumulatively from Earth by next year.”
Starlink is also now a majority of all active satellites and will have launched a a majority of all satellites cumulatively from Earth by next year.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 2, 2023
It is unclear whether the breakeven milestone is for the quarter or a specific period of time. Regardless, the achievement leaves open the question of whether SpaceX may be nearing taking Starlink public via IPO -- a move that Musk once said the company would execute once the cash flow became predictable.
SpaceX president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell gave a hint that the economics were becoming more predictable earlier this year, when she said that Starlink had already achieved a cashflow positive quarter in 2022.
Starlink’s mega-constellation currently sits at around 5,000 satellites, all of these launched by SpaceX rockets. That vertical integration has been key to the company expanding the Starlink network at such aggressive rates -- SpaceX launched the first operational Starlink birds in 2019 -- and being able to grow at a pace that far outstrips competitors.
Since then, the network has grown to around 2 million subscribers and spans verticals from consumer to maritime and aviation. More recently, Starlink made the news for its role in international conflict -- including the war in Ukraine and more recently the war between Israel and Hamas. SpaceX recently established a defense-focused version of Starlink called Starshield, a sign of the Pentagon’s interest in procuring satellite internet capabilities.
SpaceX is valued at around $150 billion. The company posted revenues last year of $1.4 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported in September.