Technology

Elon Musk’s startup and investment journey

Elon Musk is one of the most fascinating figures of the 21st century. He’s made the journey from obscure tech nerd to richest person in the world, enduring much controversy along the way. Unlike many of his One Percent peers, Musk is almost as well known for his vivacious public personality as he is for his business accomplishments.

Musk has rarely disappeared from the news, whether it’s because of his newest child’s unpronounceable name or because of his Twitter purchase. Whatever your personal feelings about the Musk man, there’s no denying his technological and business acumen. Here we take a closer look at how he turned a $28,000 loan into a global business empire that should make him the world’s first trillionaire.

Early Promise

Long before he entered the business world, a young Elon Musk showed some early signs that he was about to hit the road. At just 12 years old, he developed a computer game that he then sold for $500 despite vicious bullying overshadowing his school life. A few years later, at the age of seventeen, Musk moved to Canada from South Africa with his mother and siblings.

Musk graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995 with bachelor’s degrees in physics and economics and intended to pursue his studies with a PhD in physics at Stanford. But after just two days on campus, Musk, then 24, changed his mind. He’d spent the summer interning at two Silicon Valley startups and decided pursuing an academic career wasn’t for him after all. It was the height of the dot-com boom, and Musk wanted a piece of the action.

Zip2 was the company Musk started the year he graduated Brother Kimbal. The startup would not have been possible without Elon, who used their technological skills to create the software – an online business directory with built-in mapping. At first, the brothers struggled to attract investors, and initially everything was accomplished with a $28,000 loan from their father. According to Musk, the two shared a single computer and couldn’t afford to rent apartments, so they slept in the office.

The persistence paid off, and after a while the investments started to roll in. Unfortunately for Musk, his new business partners didn’t want him to have the top job, and he was demoted to CTO. Musk now owned just 7% of his own company and wasn’t content with his waning influence. However, he got what he needed when the company was sold to Compaq in 1999. Even with just 7%, Musk now had $22 million in his pocket.

PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla

With his own money to invest, Musk was up and running. Zip2 might have been precarious, but now Musk had what he needed — the capital to do what he wanted. With $10 million of his Zip2 money, he founded X.com, one of the earliest online banking platforms. At the time, Cofinity was its biggest competitor, and the two merged in 2000. Some arguments broke out between Musk and Cofinity’s Peter Thiel, with the former once again ousting Musk from the CEO position. In 2001, the company was renamed PayPal, which has since become a household name — you can even find it now PayPal casino sites at MrCasinova. Despite his frustration with his control of the company, Musk walked away significantly richer when he made nearly $180 million from PayPal’s $1.5 billion sale to eBay in 2002.

As before, Musk wasted no time before launching his next venture. 2002, after selling PayPal, was the year he founded SpaceX. Just two years later, he made his first investment in Tesla, a company that has become synonymous with the prolific entrepreneur. While not a founder, his financial and operational involvement with Tesla has made him CEO and single most influential figure in business.

Lose and fight back

In 2006, Musk’s cousins ​​Lyndon and Peter Rive founded SolarCity with seed capital from Musk, who also became chairman. The successful solar umbrella business is now under the Tesla umbrella. Musk’s fortunes took a turn in 2008 when he finalized his divorce with already tight funds first wife Justine in the amount of 20 million pounds.

In retrospect, it seems a little naïve to think Musk was ever in financial trouble. Things may have felt less than ideal at the time, but due to his existing investments and businesses, he still had plenty of wealth, even if he was temporarily short of cash. That same year, NASA and SpaceX struck a deal worth $1.6 billion, and around that time, Musk’s Angel investment portfolio was also starting to bear some fruit. With Tesla’s IPO in 2010, Musk was back on solid ground and starting to move forward.

consolidation

Between Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity, the narrative of Musk began to take shape as a man investing in the future of the planet – and beyond. All three performed well in the years that followed, with Tesla and SolarCity merging in 2016. Over the course of six years, between 2012 and 2018, Musk grew in value from $2 billion to $19 billion.

Musk’s approach to investing has drawn as much criticism as praise, though judging by the results, he’s certainly on the right track. No doubt influenced by his early experiences with Zip2 and PayPal, Musk values ​​control in his dealings. His investments are often in his own companies or angel investments in companies where he may have operational influence. He likes to keep his entire fortune in stocks and investments, prefers to work with family members and reinvests far more in his own ventures than many consider to be economically viable.

What’s next?

Musk’s investment portfolio and fortune are such that he can afford to speculate more freely these days. He has described his investment in the Boring Company, a tunneling company, as a personal interest, a hobby. Of all his previous investments, only one can be described as a total failure. Halcyon Molecular, a genome-coding startup, was beaten by competitors and closed in 2012.

Musk has made some very successful exits, most notably DeepMind and Everdream, and is currently sitting on some significant gains from companies like Stripe. Tesla remains his biggest source of wealth, with it all tied up in stock options that have made him wealthier in recent years.

However, alongside a solid and highly personal investment portfolio, Musk is also known for over-the-top stunts, outspoken media appearances and a colorful personal life. He has launched his own personal Tesla Roadster as part of a SpaceX test launch, has been sued over tweets making personal allegations and caused the value of cryptocurrency Dogecoin to plummet after calling it a “hustle” on Saturday Night Live had designated.

With that in mind, it’s hard to tell if his recent forays into Twitter are serious or just part of his disruptor persona. Share prices rose to $50 when Musk made the announcement acquired a 9% stake in the company. However, Twitter’s board of directors now faces the possibility of a $46.5 billion hostile takeover. The serial entrepreneur is always full of surprises.

https://techround.co.uk/news/elon-musks-startup-investment-journey/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=elon-musks-startup-investment-journey Elon Musk’s startup and investment journey

Fry Electronics Team

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