Elon Musk makes running monumental companies look easy. SpaceX and Tesla are immensely successful in their respective industries, where they continue to push the boundaries of innovation.
But it wasn’t always this way. Both businesses almost went under, forcing Musk to consider only saving one before things started to pick up.
“That was a tough decision. If I split the money, maybe both of them would die. If I gave the money to just one company, the probability of it surviving was greater, but then it would mean certain death for the other company. I debated that over and over,” said Musk.
Burning Through the Last Few Hundred Thousand Dollars
Building rockets is extremely expensive, but that’s exactly what Musk wanted to do. Since its inception, SpaceX had issues with funding. In 2003, Musk helped start Tesla Motors and contributed $70 million to the startup.
Tesla also took a beating from day one, suffering from production delays and numerous shifts in management. Many thought Musk couldn’t pull it off, simply because an electric car seemed unfathomable at the time.
Eventually, SpaceX was awarded a $1.6 billion contract from NASA for 12 resupply flights, which kept the company afloat. Tesla’s saving grace came in the form of $40 million in funding on Christmas Eve. The electric car establishment was going on as little as $300,000 before investors chipped in for fresh funds.
The Google Acquisition that Didn’t Happen
Tesla wasn’t in the clear yet. In 2013, the company had trouble converting preorders into actual sales. With the intention of keeping the business going, Musk turned to Larry Page, CEO and co-founder of Google. Both agreed on a $6 billion acquisition deal with another $5 billion to maintain operations. The Canadian-American entrepreneur also wanted to continue playing an active role in the company and was to be guaranteed some form of long-term involvement.
In a move to turn the company around, Musk fired several top-level executives who were fudging sales figures and lacked motivation to pivot the business towards a profitable path. Eventually, the deal was called off when Tesla sales started materializing. Fast-forward to today, the car company is now valued at $25 billion and its stocks are trading at roughly $245 per share.
Rumors: Apple to Acquire Tesla?
Google isn’t the only one linked to acquisitions with Tesla. Apple is the latest global brand to throw the idea around. A Tesla car coupled with Apple’s CarPlay system would certainly turn heads, but are the two willing to collaborate?
During the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting, a handful of investors took the opportunity to test the waters.
When asked about a possible deal to scoop up Tesla, Cook said, “We don’t really have a relationship with them. I’d love Tesla to pick up CarPlay. We now have every major auto brand committing to use CarPlay, and maybe Tesla would want to do that.”
Cook’s conservative stand hints at another rumor that surfaced a few months ago. Apple is reportedly working on its own car under the codename Project Titan. A deal with Tesla would certainly streamline its efforts to make a splash in the car manufacturing industry.