Special Report

All of Elon Musk’s Companies Explained

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The Boring Company
> Valuation: $5.675 billion
> Employees: 195 (Craft Co. estimate) with dozens of openings

Musk founded the Boring Company, an infrastructure and tunnel construction company, in 2016 with a mission: “To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D.” TBC has completed several tunnels with others in various stages of construction, discussion, and planning. The company’s recently completed third funding round of $675 million valued TBC at $5.675 billion.

Neuralink
> Total funding: $363 million
> Employees: 217 (Pitchbook estimate) with dozens of openings

Musk co-founded this health tech venture with “a dream team” of eight scientists, per Fortune. Neuralink is developing implantable brain machine interfaces for a wide range of applications, including helping people with brain-related injuries and paralysis, according to the company. Neuralink has completed several rounds of financing, the most recent one of $205 million.

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OpenAI
> Funding: $1 billion pledge (matched by Microsoft)
> Employees: 263 (Growjo estimate)

Artificial Intelligence company OpenAI was co-founded by Musk in 2015 as a nonprofit with the aim of creating artificial intelligence safely and in a way that benefits all of humanity. The company transitioned to for-profit, specifically capped-profit, in 2019, a year after co-founder Musk resigned the board due to potential future conflict of interest with Tesla’s development of the self-driving AI. He remained a donor and advisor, however. Microsoft invested $1 billion in 2019.

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PayPal (through X.com)
> 2021 revenue: $25.4 billion
> 2021 profits: $4.2 billion
> Market cap: $106.4 billion (April 22)
> Employees: 26,500 (2020)

Musk co-founded his second startup, X.com, in 1999. The online financial services company merged with competitor Confinity Inc. a year later. The merged company changed its name to PayPal and went public in 2002. That year, eBay bought PayPal for $1.5 billion. At the time, Musk owned over 11% of the shares.

PayPal was spun off to become an independent company in 2014, but long before that, Musk sold his stake and used the proceeds to start SpaceX and Tesla among others. Perhaps anticipating a need (see X Holdings) Musk bought the defunct domain name X.com from PayPal for an undisclosed amount in 2017.

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SpaceX
> Valuation: $100 billion
> Funding: $1.5 billion in 2021
> Employees: 12,000 (according to a Musk interview)

Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies Corp. (doing business as SpaceX) in 2002, using $100 million from his PayPal payout, with the goal of revolutionizing space transportation technologies and colonizing other planets. Since its founding, SpaceX has launched 153 rockets carrying satellites or spacecraft into orbit, including a recent one with an all-civilian crew. It is a leading provider of launch services, including for NASA. SpaceX is privately owned, but through rounds of fundings – amounting to $1.5 billion in total in 2021 – it is valued at $100.3 billion, according to CNBC.

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