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SpaceX projected 20 million Starlink users by 2022—it ended up with 1 million

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Sep 13, 2023

Enlarge / SpaceX Starlink satellite dish at Pelican Beach on Willard Bay Reservoir in Willard, Utah, in October 2022. (credit: Tony Webster (CC BY-SA 2.0))

SpaceX’s Starlink division hasn’t come close to meeting customer and revenue projections that the company shared with investors before building the satellite network, according to a Wall Street Journal report published today.

A 2015 presentation that “SpaceX used to raise money from investors” reportedly projected that in 2022, Starlink would hit 20 million subscribers and generate nearly $12 billion in revenue and $7 billion in operating profit. The WSJ said it obtained the 2015 presentation and recent documents with numbers on Starlink’s actual performance in 2022.

Actual Starlink revenue for 2022 was $1.4 billion, up from $222 million in 2021, according to the report. The documents apparently didn’t specify whether Starlink is profitable.

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