SpaceX will spin off its Starlink satellite internet arm in “a few years”, founder Elon Musk confirmed.
Musk said an initial public offer will be plausible when the space broadband provider is making “reasonable predictable” revenues.
He has previously said that Spacex itself is not a suitable company for the public markets as its goals do not align with shareholders, but the company has suggested Starlink might be the “right kind of business”.
Responding to a question on Twitter, Musk said an IPO before Starlink has predictable revenue “would be very painful”.
He added that he “will do my best to give long-term Tesla shareholders preference”.
With only a restricted ‘beta’ service live in 11 countries so far, the company said last month that Starlink has over half a million customers.
It is currently offering beta services in 11 counties, including the US, UK, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the Philippines, and is planning to obtain regulatory permission to provide its internet services in dozens more countries once its service has gone global from September this year.
However, with 1,800 micro-satellites in low-Earth orbit, the service is still in the early stages of it planned ‘constellation’ of 12,000 satellites.