Elon Musk has been one of the world's wealthiest people in recent years. But how exactly did he manage to go from zero to $199 billion? To find out, let’s take a look at the complete timeline of Elon Musk's wealth, from his childhood days, to his early days as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur to his current roles in Tesla, SpaceX, and more recently Twitter.
- At age 12, Musk created a BASIC-based game called Blastar. He then sold it to magazine PC and Office Technology for around $500.
- Alongside Greg Kouri and his brother Kimbal, Musk founded Global Link Information Network, which would later become the online business directory Zip2. The company was initially funded by Kouri and a small group of angel investors. At a later funding round, the start-up was granted $200,000.
- Global Link received a $3 million investment from Mohr Davidow Ventures. The company also officially changed its name to Zip2 during this year.
- In February, Compaq acquired Zip2 for $307 million in cash. Musk received $22 million for his 7% share.
- Using the money he got from Zip2, Musk co-founded X.com with Harris Fricker, Christopher Payne, and Ed Ho. He reportedly invested $12 million for this endeavor.
- X.com merged with software company Confinity Inc., eventually evolving into the PayPal we know today.
- eBay acquired Paypal for $1.5 billion, with Musk receiving $175.8 million for his 11.72% shares.
- Using $100 million of his own money, Musk founded SpaceX in May, becoming its CEO and Chief Engineer.
- In July, Tesla Motors, Inc. was incorporated by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, with the duo serving as CEO and CFO, respectively.
- Tesla Motors, Inc. managed to raise $7.5 million during its series A funding round, with Musk investing $6.5 million of the money. This paved the way for Musk to become the chairman of the company’s board of directors, as well as its largest shareholder.
- In February, Musk led Tesla Motors's $13 million Series B venture capital funding round, adding Valor Equity Partners to the funding team.
- In May, Musk co-led Tesla Motors’s third $40 million funding round, attracticing high-profile investors like Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page, as well as former eBay President Jeff Skoll.
- Musk funded Falcon 1 for around $90 million to $100 million. From 2006 to 2008, SpaceX attempted to launch the vehicle to space thrice, only to fail each time.
- Michael D. Griffin, who became NASA’s Administrator the previous year, granted SpaceX a $396 million contract despite not yet launching a rocket.
- SolarCity was founded by brothers Peter and Lyndon Rive, with Musk providing the initial concept and financial capital.
- In May, a fourth $45 million funding round raised Tesla Motors’s total private financing investment to over $105 million.
- SpaceX finally launched the Falcon 1 successfully at the fourth attempt, resulting in NASA awarding the company a $1.6 billion Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract. This saved both SpaceX and Tesla from bankruptcy, as Musk only has $30 million left during this time.
- In January, Tesla Motors managed to raise $187 million, as well as deliver 147 cars. Musk had also reportedly invested an additional $70 million to the company.
- In June, Tesla received $465 million in interest-bearing loans from the US Department of Energy. As part of the $8 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, the funding was used for the development of the Model S sedan and Tesla’s commercial powertrain technology.
- In June, Tesla Motors became a public company on NASDAQ via an initial public offering (IPO). They were the first American car company to do so since the Ford Motor Company in 1956. After issuing 13.3 million shares of common stock for $17.00 per share, the company managed to raise $226 million.
- Early that year, SpaceX was valued at $1.3 billion. Musk owned two-thirds of SpaceX’s stocks, with his 70 million shares being estimated at that time to be worth $875 million on private markets.
- After the successful launch of the Dragon C2+, SpaceX’s value almost doubled to $2.4 billion or $20 per share.
- SolarCity became the leading residential solar installer in the US, and was the second largest provider of solar power systems in the country.
- In exchange for 8.33% of the company, SpaceX raised $1 billion from Google and Fidelity in January, raising their value to around $12 billion.
- At the same time, SpaceX began developing Starlink at Musk’s direction.
- Musk invested $100 million to co-found neurotechnology startup company Neuralink with seven other scientists and engineers. From 2018 onwards, he is the company’s majority owner.
- Musk acquired SolarCity for around $2.6 billion. This paved the way for Tesla Motors to enter the photovoltaics market. SolarCity was eventually reorganized into Tesla Energy.
- In December, Musk founded The Boring Company, an infrastructure and tunnel construction services company. The company was formed as a subsidiary of SpaceX.
- In February, Tesla Motors, Inc. changed its name to Tesla, Inc. This year also saw the company beginning its philanthropic efforts.
- In July, SpaceX raised $350 million, further raising the company’s valuation to $21 billion. By 2018, SpaceX has become the leading global commercial launch provider in terms of manifested launches.
- Musk expressed interest in acquiring Twitter, Inc. When someone made a tweet suggesting he buy the social media platform, Musk responded with, “How much is it?”
- In May, SpaceX estimated that the overall cost to design, build, and launch the Starlink constellation will be around $10 billion.
- The Boring Company managed to raise $113 million in non-outside capital.
- SpaceX raised approximately $1.33 billion across three funding rounds. By May, the company’s valuation had risen to $33.3 billion, eventually reaching $36 billion by March 2020.
- Neuralink managed to raise an additional $58 million and employ 90 people, some of whom are high-profile neuroscientists from various universities.
- In July, the Boring Company sold $120 million in stock to venture capital firms.
- In January, Tesla, Inc.’s market capitalization reached $86 billion, breaking the record for highest valuation of any American car maker.
- In June, Tesla, Inc.’s valuation surpassed the combined market capitalization of BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen.
- In July, Tesla, Inc.’s valuation reached $206 billion, overtaking Toyota's $202 billion and becoming the world's most valuable automaker in terms of market capitalization. Following this, the company had a 5-for-1 stock split by the end of August.
- In August, SpaceX’s valuation increased further to $46 billion after a $1.9 billion funding round.
- In December, Tesla, Inc. was included to the S&P 500 index, the largest company ever added, and the sixth largest in the index at the time of inclusion.
- In February, SpaceX raised an additional $1.61 billion from 99 investors during an equity round, raising the company’s value to around $74 billion. By the end of the year, the company had raised a total of more than $6 billion in equity financing.
- Part of the money raised by SpaceX was used to fund the operational fielding of Starlink, as well as the development of the Starship launch system.
- In October, SpaceX’s valuation had further risen to $100.3 billion. The same month also saw Tesla, Inc.’s market capitalization reaching $1 trillion, the sixth company to do so in US history.
- In January, Musk began buying Twitter shares, reaching a 9.2% stake by April and becoming the largest shareholder.
- In April, The Boring Company was awarded $675 million during a Series C funding round, increasing its valuation to approximately $5.675 billion.
- Also in April, Musk made a $43 billion offer to buy Twitter, Inc. in an attempt to buy all the social media platform’s stock at $54.20 per share. By end of the month, Musk had increased his offer to $44 billion.
- After a funding round in May 2022, SpaceX’s valuation is estimated to be worth $127 billion.
- As of June, Starlink’s coverage is only available in 40 countries and 500,000 subscribers. Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley values the company at around US$40 billion. However, many predict that Starlink’s value will skyrocket within the next few years.
- In October, Musk’s acquisition of Twitter, Inc. was officially completed. The takeover cost Musk around $44 billion.
- As of December 9, 2022, Tesla’s net worth is around $565.4 billion.