The financial performance of SpaceX’s satellite internet service, Starlink, has been revealed in a new report. According to The Wall Street Journal, Starlink generated $1.4 billion in revenue in 2021 and $222 million in 2022. Although the year-over-year growth has been significant, these figures fall far below the company’s original projections.
In a 2015 presentation to investors, SpaceX had projected that Starlink would generate nearly $12 billion in revenue and $7 billion in operating profit by 2022. The company also anticipated having 20 million subscribers by this year. However, as of December, SpaceX reported only slightly over 1 million active subscribers, indicating that it is far from reaching its initial goals.
It is worth noting that SpaceX may have revised its targets since the 2015 presentation, considering regulatory oversight and delays related to the development of its Starship vehicle have hampered the expansion of the satellite internet system.
Sustaining sufficient revenue is crucial for Starlink to continue providing its services. As the leading provider of satellite internet connectivity, Starlink’s importance has been highlighted by its use in the Ukraine war. However, the lifespan of Starlink satellites is limited to about five years, after which they descend and burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere. This necessitates regular network hardware refreshment, which could require significant capital expenditures.
The profitability of Starlink remains uncertain, making it difficult to determine if the service is currently making a profit. Efforts to obtain comments from SpaceX regarding these financial challenges are ongoing.
By rewriting and reformatting the article, we have provided a concise overview of Starlink’s struggle to meet its financial targets.