Elon Musk’s current net worth in 2021 is $149.8 billion and he is the third richest person in the world at forty nine years old according to Forbes. For a time he had the #1 wealth ranking in the world temporarily this year as his shares in Tesla stock hit all time highs in price. Musk’s net worth has fluctuated dramatically over the past 12 months due to the volatility in the Tesla stock price. He is one of the greatest technology entrepreneurs of all time based on equity returns and his personal net worth ranking.
Looking back over his entrepreneurial career his first big win was as the co-founder of Zip2, a web software company, which was acquired by Compaq for $340 million in 1999. Musk made $22 million from his 7% share of Zip2 in the acquisition sale.
He took $10 million of the capital he received from that sale of Zip2 and invested it for his next big startup win as the co-founder of PayPal which was acquired by Ebay for $1.5 billion in 2002. Ebay bought it to integrate into their website so buyers and sellers could easily make transactions directly.
With the $180 million Musk received from selling his 11.7% stake in PayPal to eBay he then invested it all in SpaceX, Tesla, and Solar City as he believed that space travel, electric cars, and the solar power industry were the future.
“My proceeds from the PayPal acquisition were $180 million. I put $100 million in SpaceX, $70m in Tesla, and $10m in Solar City. I had to borrow money for rent.” – Elon Musk
He was very busy as the founder and CEO of SpaceX, co-founder of Tesla, Inc., and he also acted as the chairman and help start Solar City which was later acquired by Tesla.
Musk says he owns just one publicly traded stock in his own company. Mr. Musk owned about 22.4% of the company’s shares outstanding, up from 20.8% a year earlier. Musk doesn’t like selling stock, though he has sold some to cover taxes on past stock options. He told The Wall Street Journal in 2016 that he planned to never sell his Tesla shares.  Tesla stock gained +743% in 2020 and dramatically increased Musk’s net worth.
Elon Musk currently owns a 54% equity stake and has 78% voting control in SpaceX as it is valued at $74 billion after its latest funding round.
Musk was a key Angel Investor that helped launch an artificial intelligence company DeepMind Technologies in 2010. The company sold to Google for a reported price of $400 to $600 million.
He is also the co-founder of Neuralink; founder of The Boring Company, and co-founder of OpenAI.
Bloomberg reports that private investors value the Boring Company at about $920 million based on its funding rounds. Elon Musk owns 90% of the equity in the Boring Company.
Microsoft invested $1 billion in his company OpenAI to support the building of artificial intelligence.
Neuralink, his brain computing startup has raised $66.27 million in venture funding so far, according to Pitchbook, which sets the startup’s valuation at $509.3 million.
Elon Musk’s wealth was built through the founding of innovative tech companies that changed what was possible through advancing technology. Elon Musk continually takes his money from his big wins and puts it into bigger and more difficult business ventures. He is an entrepreneur and innovator with incredible energy and mental curiosity, it will be interesting to see how all his ventures play out over time.