Elon Musk could spin Starlink off from SpaceX and carry out an initial public offering by 2025, tech analyst firm CCS Insight said in a report.
Starlink uses satellite to provide broadband internet to users and is part of Musk’s space exploration company.
CCS Insight releases an annual report of predictions across the tech sector. In this year’s edition, published Tuesday, the analyst firm said that as Starlink’s “revenue becomes more predictable and it gains more and more users, the company is spun off to raise capital to expand its constellation of satellites” to meet growing demand for its services.
“We think it makes perfect sense,” Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight, told CNBC in an interview. “Starlink is going to need to invest heavily.”
Wood said an initial public offering (IPO) will help drive investment into SpaceX, push international expansion and “make Starlink the go-to player for satellite broadband.”
SpaceX executives have spoken about an IPO over the last couple of years. In 2021, Musk said SpaceX would take Starlink public when revenue becomes more predictable.
Earlier this year, Musk told employees an IPO of Starlink was unlikely until 2025 or later, CNBC reported, citing the billionaire’s comments from an all-hands meeting of SpaceX employees.
Musk previously targeted an offering as soon as this year, according to an email to SpaceX employees obtained by CNBC. The email, sent by Musk in May 2019, said “it will probably make sense to take Starlink public in about three years or so.”
Starlink has been in the spotlight recently because of its role in the Russia-Ukraine war. SpaceX has donated Starlink internet terminals to Ukraine’s to keep the country’s military online during the war against Russia, even as communication infrastructure gets destroyed.
But Musk said Friday that SpaceX cannot continue fund Starlink terminals in Ukraine “indefinitely” in light of the cost. However, Musk, who is also CEO of electric car company Teslasaid Saturday that SpaceX will keep funding the Ukrainian government “for free” even though Starlink is “still losing money.”
— CNBC’s Michael Sheetz contributed to this report.