Some of his investments haven’t exactly worked out, but many have prospered and are now among the most fascinating names in technology, as with any long-term investor. Here are just a few of the companies in which Elon Musk has invested.
Elon Musk has paid $44 billion for Twitter. The agreement comes about a month after the Tesla and SpaceX chief made public his almost 9% stake in Twitter, making him the microblogging site’s single largest individual shareholder. Following this, Musk was invited to join Twitter’s board of directors, which he rejected. He announced his proposal to purchase Twitter a few days later, according to a filing with the US markets regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Twitter agreed to sell itself to Musk for $54.20 a share, a 38% premium over the company’s share price this month before he revealed he was the firm’s single largest shareholder.
Twitter will become a privately held firm once the acquisition is completed, which is scheduled to happen this year.
SpaceX is a designer, manufacturer and launcher of the world’s most advanced rockets and spacecraft. It all started in 2001 when Musk began his project “Mars Oasis” which made the possibility of colonizing Mars real, the idea really ignited the public imagination. The Mars-bound rocket that Musk needed cost $65 million which was way over budget and so he decided to build one himself. The idea of building rockets in-house is what led to the creation of SpaceX in 2002. Falcon 1 was the first rocket built by SpaceX which after 3 failed attempts succeeded in 2008. The real reason behind SpaceX’s success is its cost-effective projects. NASA calculated how much it would cost them to do the same project and SpaceX had been able to do it 5 times cheaper. Till now SpaceX has successfully launched many satellites, and there have been plans made to take Maezawa Yusaku, a Japanese businessman, as well as some artists to Moon in 2023. Elon Musk even plans on launching people to inhabit Mars around 2025.
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Tesla is an electric vehicle manufacturer with its mission to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles in addition to renewable energy generation and storage. Tesla was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in 2003 and Elon Musk joined Tesla in 2004, after investing $6.3 million in Tesla stocks and was appointed to the position of Chairman of its Board of Directors. In October 2008, Musk took over as CEO of the company and co-founders Eberhard and Tarpenning left Tesla entirely. Under Musk, Tesla has also constructed multiple lithium-ion batteries and electric vehicle subassembly factories, such as Gigafactory 1 in Nevada and Gigafactory 3 in China.
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Hyperloop is a concept developed by Space X and Tesla founder Elon Musk for ultra-fast inter-city travel in 2013. Using travel pods inside metallic tubes, he calls it a “fifth mode” of transport in addition to cars, planes, boats, and trains. The Hyperloop is a high-speed commuter and freight transport system that could reach speeds of around 750 mph (1,210 kph). It works by propelling specially designed pressurized pods or capsules using electromagnetic force inside a near-vacuum tube to reduce air friction and drag.
OpenAI is an artificial intelligence research laboratory founded by Elon Musk, Sam Altman, and others, who collectively pledged the US $1 billion in December 2015. Musk resigned from the company’s board in February 2018 but remains one of its top donors. OpenAI seeks to build a machine with human intelligence while prioritizing transparency and safety. In June 2020, the lab released its first commercial product. The tool, dubbed “the API,” allows businesses to directly access OpenAI’s powerful general-purpose text generation AI, which has been trained on trillions of words from the internet. The lab had initially been wary of publishing the full version of the text generation AI, as it could be misused.
Neuralink Corporation was started by Elon Musk and his 8 partners Ben Rapoport, Dongjin Seo, Max Hodak, Paul Merolla, Philip Sabes, Tim Gardner, Tim Hanson and Vanessa Tolosa in July 2016 and is developing an implantable brain-machine interface. The company has hired several high-profile neuroscientists from various universities and is developing a device that consists of a tiny probe containing more than 3,000 electrodes attached to flexible threads thinner than a human hair, which can monitor the activity of 1,000 brain neurons.
The Boring Company
In December 2016, Musk founded The Boring Company after growing frustrated with traffic in Los Angeles and the limitations of two-dimensional transportation networks. The start-up aims to create subterranean tunnels that allow pedestrians, freight, utilities, or autonomous electric vehicles to circumvent traffic on surface roads to more directly get from A to B.
The artificial intelligence (AI) company DeepMind Technologies was launched in late 2010, with Musk as one of its key angel investors. In January 2014, Google announced that it had acquired the company for an undisclosed amount.
Musk, as Tesla’s CEO, is well-known for his support of environmental and sustainable issues. As a result Musk’s Tesla purchased Solar city in 2016. This caused legal issues for Musk, who is presently in court defending the transaction, which was believed to unfairly enrich family members.
X.com now PayPal
In 1999, Musk co-founded X.com, online financial services and e-mail payment company. X.com merged with Confinity, which at the time operated a little-known money transfer service called PayPal. Confinity was co-founded by Peter Thiel and Max Levchin. The entire company was rebranded as PayPal in 2001, a year after Musk left the company over disagreements with other executive members. But PayPal later went public and got scooped up by eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.
Zip2 was the first enterprise founded by Elon Musk in the year 1995 with his brother Kimbal, and Greg Kouri. It provided a searchable business directory that could be described as an Internet version of the yellow pages telephone directory with maps included. Musk described the company’s mission by saying that everyone ought to be able to find the closest pizza parlour and to be able to figure out how to get there. In 1996 Davidow Ventures invested around $3 Million in exchange for majority ownership. In addition, Musk was replaced as CEO by a more experienced businessman, Richard Sorkin, but remained executive vice president and chief technology officer. Later because of Musk’s pressure as he disagreed with Sorkin’s business policies, Sorkin was replaced by Derek Proudian. Later In 1999, Compaq Computer Corp. purchased Zip2 for $307 million, and Zip2 became a unit of the search engine AltaVista.
At the age of 16, Elon with his brother Kimbal tried of opening an arcade but their plans were foiled when the city told them they were too young to get a real estate permit without an adult to sign off.
Elon Musk’s first-ever creation was “Blastar” a science fiction inspired space game. He built it in 1984 at the age of 12 and got $500 after a South African trade publication ‘PC and Office Technology magazine’ published its source code.
In an interview, Kimbal Musk revealed that Elon with his siblings travelled around the wealthy parts of the South African capital selling homemade chocolate Easter eggs. The production cost was 50 cents and they charged $10 per easter egg.