Elon Musk is now worth over $300 billion, and has become the richest man in modern history. More impressively, he’s a first generation entrepreneur, who’s made his fortune from scratch. Over the years Musk has founded and built several companies, which have attained eye-popping valuations, and have caused his net worth to soar. Here is a list of the companies he’s created, and their valuations.
Elon Musk didn’t create PayPal, but PayPal had acquired his startup Zip2, and Musk had then gone on to join the company in its early days. Along with Peter Thiel, Musk had been an important part of growing PayPal into the payments behemoth it would soon become. When PayPal was sold to Ebay in 2002, Musk made a cool $165 million for himself, which he put into Tesla and SpaceX. PayPal is today worth $104 billion, and a large part of that is thanks to Musk’s efforts when the company was just starting out.
Musk is perhaps best known for electric car company Tesla. Musk had acquired Tesla when it had no IP and no working car, but over the years, has built it into the world’s largest car company. Tesla now has a valuation of $1 trillion, and is worth more than the next nine car companies put together. Musk owns nearly 17% of Tesla’s stock, which contributes to the bulk of his net worth.
If Tesla is Musk’s most valuable company, SpaceX is his most ambitious. Musk had founded SpaceX all the way back in 2000, and its plans were grand — SpaceX intended humanity to become a multiplanetary species in case a disaster ever befell earth, and intended to take humans to Mars. While Musk’s Mars dream might be a few years away, SpaceX has already produced reusable rockets which will be critical in taking humans even longer distances, and become the first private firm to take humans to the space station. SpaceX now earns itself good money sending satellites to space, and is currently the second-highest valued startup in the world with a valuation of $100 billion.
SolarCity had officially been founded by Elon Musk’s cousins Peter and Lyndon Rive, but Musk was closely involved with the company. While Tesla aimed to save the environment by running cars through clean electric energy, SolarCity aimed to help generate solar energy. SolarCity sold and installed solar energy generation systems to residential, commercial, and industrial customers, and helped them generate power through solar panels on roofs. In 2016, SolarCity was acquired by Tesla for $2.6 billion.
If SpaceX is Musk’s most ambitious venture, Neuralink sounds like something out of science fiction. Neuralink aims to eventually implant chips into people’s heads to help them compete with artificial intelligence. Musk says while enhancing people’s mental capabilities might be some time away, Neuralink should be soon able to help people with brain and spinal cord injuries regain function of their limbs. Neuralink hasn’t yet begun human trials, but has shown off some impressive demos in pigs, in which its chips were able to predict the movement of the pigs’ legs, and detect when their snouts approached food. Neuralink currently has a valuation of nearly $1 billion.
6.The Boring Company
The Boring Company might be one of Musk’s most bizarre ideas, but it’s worth billions. The Boring Company aims to build tunnels under the ground to help people beat traffic in urban areas. Musk says that urban areas are so dense that there’s no way to reduce traffic other than going underground, and The Boring Company will build underground tunnels which will allow traffic to zip across cities, and then finally remerge at ground level at their destinations. The Boring Company has just raised a new round of funding, which values it at an eye-popping $5.6 billion.
In all, Musk has created one trillion-dollar company, two billion-dollar companies, and three unicorns. Musk is still just 50 years old, but he seems to have already cemented his place in the list of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs of all time.