Once upon a time, Elon Musk nearly went broke trying to launch Tesla and Space X. Today, he is far from it, in fact, his net worth has just topped $20 billion. Musk's net worth has been on the rise in 2017. Back in the Spring, we estimated his net worth to be just under $14 billion. Much of the increase in Musk's net worth is due to the rising value of SpaceX. The company raised $350 million in July, putting its valuation at $21 billion. Musk owns more 50% of the aerospace firm.
SpaceX's ultimate mission is to send humans to Mars, but that's a few years off – at least. In the meantime, the company has been hitting milestones left and right. In March, SpaceX sent a payload into orbit using a used rocket. This made SpaceX the first private company to re-use a rocket. Just last week, Musk revealed the first photos on his Instagram page of what the SpaceX spacesuit will look like. SpaceX plans to send people into space as early as 2018.
Musk's other venture, Tesla Motors, is also doing well this year. The new, lower-priced Model 3 is set to debut soon. Pre-orders were strong. Tesla's stock is up more than 50% in the last year.
Musk had his first success in 1999 when he sold Zip2, a software firm he co-founded to Compaq for more than $300 million. He was 28 years old at the time. He then went on to co-found PayPal and made more money when that company was acquired by eBay in 2002 for $1.4 billion. In 2004, Musk joined Tesla as an investor. He became CEO in 2008. He liquidated almost all of his assets to keep Tesla and SpaceX afloat in the early days. Without that infusion of cash, development at both companies would have ceased, as both were considered extreme long shots at the time.
Now, both companies are at the forefront of technological advances and the man who deferred graduate school at Stanford to fund his first company then nearly went broke keeping it alive, is worth $20 billion.