Elon Musk: Twitter will be as inclusive as possible
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Elon Musk, the richest man on the planet, celebrates his 51st birthday today. The South African-born entrepreneur has made the world his oyster, realising boyhood dreams of building fast cars and spaceships. Next on his agenda is to reach Mars, a feat achieved by no other human being other than a handful of missions carried out by NASA from the safety of Earth.
Musk started off his stellar career with Zip2, an online version of the Yellow Pages, and has gone on to achieve many firsts in history.
And at the age of 51, he still has some way to go.
But his various ventures have made him the world’s richest person, his current net worth estimated to be around $234.5billion (£191.2billion).
He is trailed by the likes of Amazon emperor Jeff Bezos and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates — but even they are nowhere near his mammoth volume of wealth.
Despite this, some analysts have suggested that Musk’s fortune is eroding.
Matt Durot, a wealth reporter for Forbes, charted Musk’s wealth and how he has in recent months lost billions of dollars.
At the time of his analysis in May, Musk was enduring a plummet in his fortunes.
He lost $10.7billion (£8.7billion) in net worth as shares of Tesla — his electric vehicle manufacturer — fell by 6.4 percent to end the week down 13.7 percent late in that month.
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As a result, Mr Durot’s assessment had it that Musk was $25.2billion (£20.5billion) poorer than the previous week.
Despite this, his net worth was still in the hundreds of billions of dollars.
But after announcing his move to buy Twitter — a deal which has since stalled — things went south, according to Mr Durot.
He noted: “Musk may be regretting all of this now, as it would likely be a lot more difficult to find outside investors to help finance a deal for a company he was forced to buy.
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“And as the value of Tesla shares continues to sink, his bankers may be reluctant to restore his margin loan to the originally agreed upon amount (let alone lend him more) without Musk pledging additional stock.
“Unfortunately, even though he’s the world’s richest person, he has very little to offer in that regard, because he’s already pledged more than half his Tesla stake as collateral for other loans before pursuing the Twitter deal.”
Musk’s pursuit of buying Twitter has become embroiled in controversy.
While the deal went through and was approved by Twitter’s board of directors, it has yet to be approved by regulators and shareholders, and was expected to close later this year.
But last month his lawyers accused Twitter of refusing to provide sufficient information about the number of false users on the site.
This was after Musk asked for additional figures on May 9, claiming that the information provided on June 1 was insufficient.
Regardless of whether Musk succeeds in his bid for Twitter, the number of investments he has made elsewhere will sustain him as one the world’s richest people for years to come.
Of all of Musk’s tech business journeys, it is his sale of Zip2 to Compaq that is considered the most vital.
It was the kick-starter behind everything that he went on to achieve, reeling in more than $300million (£245million).
While many would have taken their share of the millions and pursued a life of luxury, Musk used $10million (£8.1million) of his earnings to co-found company X.com which became PayPal.
He made his first billion dollar sale with PayPal after eBay purchased it in 2002 for $1.5billion (£1.2billion), Musk alone earning $180million (£147million) from the deal.
Again, not resting on his laurels, he used the money to found SpaceX, which today has grown into a $125billion (£102billion) giant of space technology, a company that many claim will soon eclipse NASA in achievements in space exploration.
Other business ventures followed, like Tesla in 2004, openAI in 2015, the acquisition of SolarCity in 2016, the controversial Neuralink in 2016, and more recently, attempts at acquiring Twitter.
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