South African-born Elon Musk has been at the forefront of pioneering technology and space exploration during the last decade, coming into the public's consciousness with SpaceX and Tesla. With such prestigious and innovative companies under his stewardship, what is the entrepreneur's net worth?
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Musk built his fortune on the foundation of his first company, Zip2 Corporation, in 1995. He worked with his brother, Kimbal Musk at Zip2, which was was an online city guide. In 1999, a division of Compaq Computer Corporation bought Zip2 for $307 million in cash and $34 million in stock options.
The same year, the Musk brothers used the money gained from the Zip2 sale to create X.com, an online financial services and payments company.
In 2000 Musk merged his company X.Com, founded in 1999, with Confinity, which later became PayPal. Musk was a major shareholders in PayPal, so when eBay bought the company in 2002, Musk made $180 million. Prior to the sale Musk, owned 11 percent in PayPal stock.
But it wasn't until 2002 that Musk founded one of the two companies most heavily associated with him. Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) would be his third company. Musk's aim for the company was to build spacecraft specifically for commercial space travel.
Fast-forward to 2008 and SpaceX is well-established and has even won a contract to handle the transportation of cargo for the International Space Station, with future plans of transporting astronauts.
SpaceX is now valued at more than $20 billion.
In 2003, Musk, along with others, founded Tesla, an American electric car, solar panel and renewable energy solutions company. As CEO and product architect, Musk led the company to international prominence with its groundbreaking technologies and slick designs.
Tesla now makes 93 percent of its revenue from automotive sales and approximately 7 percent from energy generation and storage. In January 2019, Tesla's Model 3 became the best-selling electric car in history. In total, Tesla generated $24.6 billion in revenue in 2019.
And what is Elon Musk himself worth? He made his debut on the 2012 Forbes Billionaires List with a net worth of $2 billion, and more than a decade later that figure has multiplied, several times over. Forbes now lists the figure at a breath-taking $43.3 billion.