PayPal confirms with Business Insider that Elon Musk has repurchased the X.com domain name. The news first reported by Domain Investing. To be clear, he hasn’t purchased PayPal. All he purchased was X.com.
PayPal didn’t disclose how much Musk paid for the X.com domain name. Right now, there’s nothing so much as a placeholder at X.com.
Musk’s online financial services company X.com merged with Confinity. At the time operated a little-known money transfer service called PayPal. Confinity co-founded by Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, now notable internet entrepreneurs and investors. Thiel became a billionaire by investing early in Facebook. While Levchin went on to help found Yelp and currently operates a digital loan service called Affirm.
Back when the two companies merged. Decided by investors and board members that X.com had more brand recognition than Confinity. However, the entire company rebranded as PayPal in 2001. A year after Musk left the company over disagreements with other executive members.
But PayPal later went public and got scooped up by Ebay for $1.5 billion in 2002, netting Musk somewhere in the range of $160 to $180 million after taxes.
Fast forward a decade and a half and three multi-billion-dollar enterprises in the electric car, solar energy, and space transport industries later and Musk is now one of the most successful entrepreneurs on the planet.
With a net worth of more than $15.3 billion thanks to his holdings in Tesla, SpaceX, and SolarCity, Musk can purchase whatever he likes, including defunct domain names.
X.com likely didn’t come for cheap, though PayPal isn’t saying just how much Musk paid and Musk hasn’t disclosed what he plans to do with it. But his car company does have a Model X, and the name did clearly influence how he branded his space venture back in 2002.