Today Tesla and SpaceX are household names, but just ten years ago they were practically unknown.
In fact, in late 2008 both companies were on the verge of bankruptcy and Elon Musk was running out of money to support them.
After creating SpaceX in 2002 and joining Tesla in 2004, Musk led the development of both companies simultaneously. But, SpaceX’s early rockets couldn’t get to orbit, while the Tesla Roadster’s production was getting pushed back.
Things got even harder for Elon, until the make-or-break moment for both companies came in 2008. SpaceX became the first private company to launch a rocket into orbit and even received a $1.6 billion contract from NASA. Meanwhile Tesla received a funding round from Musk and Daimler.
In the end, both companies were saved and today Elon has brought them to multi-billion dollar valuations. But they both came very close to bankruptcy in December 2008.