Twitter deal expands Elon Musk's growing empire

Elon Musk Twitter takeover ‘good for everyone’: Tech expert

Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Jessica Melugin says Musk’s free-speech policy is a net benefit for social media users. 

Elon Musk's pending acquisition of Twitter has caused a stir among his critics, fans, and casual observers alike, all for the same reason: He is a disruptor.

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, attends the opening of the Tesla factory Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenheide, Germany, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. (Patrick Pleul/Pool via AP / AP Newsroom)

Musk entered the business world in the late 90's when he co-founded tech companies Zip2 and X.com, the latter of which became PayPal. After both companies were sold for $307 million and $1.5 billion, respectively, Musk used his proceeds to invest in new technologies aimed at solving problems facing humanity.

Now, as the world's richest man enters the social media sphere in the name of preserving free speech with a $44 billion deal, it is worth taking a look at his growing empire and how the intriguing entrepreneur is influencing industries from under the earth and into the heavens.

Tesla 

Model Y electric vehicles stand on a conveyor belt at the opening of the Tesla factory in Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenheide, Germany, Tuesday, March 22, 2022. The first European factory in Gruenheide, designed for 500,000 vehicles per year, is an impo (Patrick Pleul/Pool via AP / AP Newsroom)

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TSLATESLA INC.876.42-121.60-12.18%

Musk's vast wealth largely comes from the enormous success of Tesla, Inc. While not an original founder of the electric vehicle behemoth that was launched in 2003, he was an early investor who became majority shareholder the next year and took the helm as CEO in 2008.

Under Musk's leadership, Tesla's electric vehicles became mainstream as a viable option for consumers across the globe seeking an alternative to gas-powered cars in the battle against climate change. 

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The firm is among the world's most valuable companies, and one of a handful to reach a market cap of over $1 trillion. Musk owns 21% of the carmaker, and although more than half his stake is tied up as collateral for loans according to Forbes, the publication estimates his net worth at more than $244 billion.

SpaceX

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen at sunset on the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for the Crew-3 mission, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Photo Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky / AP Newsroom)

Musk started his aerospace company, Space Exploration Technologies Corp, known as SpaceX, in 2002 as part of his vision for humans to become multi-planetary. 

The firm, which was the first private company to transport both cargo and people to the International Space Station, is valued at over $74 billion.

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But SpaceX isn't just known for the success of its rockets. The company's Starlink terminals connected to satellites in low-earth orbits have been critical in providing internet service to war-torn Ukraine after the country was invaded by Vladimir Putin and Russia attempted to disconnect the nation from internet access.

The Boring Company

A Tesla car drives through a tunnel in the Central Station during a media preview of the Las Vegas Convention Center Loop on April 9, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images / Getty Images)

Musk founded The Boring Company in 2016 for the purpose of creating underground transit tunnels for moving cars and freight to relieve traffic congestion. 

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The company has already completed an operational tunnel that transports Tesla vehicles under the Las Vegas Convention Center and is working on an expanded "Vegas Loop" that will go under the Las Vegas Strip. TBC is also building tunnels other cities in the U.S., including San Antonio, Texas and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

The Boring Company reported last week that with its latest infusion of funding, it is valued at $5.675 billion.

Neuralink Corporation

Neuralink logo displayed on a phone screen, a silhouette of a paper in shape of a human face. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Neuralink Corporation is a neurotechnology firm co-founded by Musk in 2016 that is developing technology to interface machines with the human brain via neural implants.

The company says this innovation has an array of uses, some of which could solve certain medical ailments such as paralysis, memory loss, seizures, addiction, depression, strokes, and brain damage.

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As of 2019, Musk had reportedly invested $100 million in the firm himself, and the company later announced another $205 million in Series C funding that included high-profile investors such as Google Ventures.

FOX Business' Anders Hagstrom, Paul Best and Julia Musto contributed to this story.

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