A lot of people like to add PayPal to Elon Musk’s list of accomplishments, but it likely shouldn’t be. PayPal was founded by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, and Luke Nosek in December of 1998. At the time, they were known as Confinity and merely developed security software for hand-held devices. This was not super successful, so they moved on to focus on becoming a “digital wallet.” By 1999, the first electronic payment system for the company was launched. Confinity became a pretty big success but the turmoil at X.com allowed the companies to merge in March of 2000. X.com sold off in the merger for around $400 million.
The merge allowed a lot of the staff from X.com to move over, including Musk and Harris. However, Harris disagreed with Musk about the money transfer side of the business and left the company that May. Around the same time, Peter Thiel replaced Musk as CEO of X.com which was then renamed “PayPal.” The company went public in 2002, with its IPO going for $13 a share and generating over $61 million. Musk was fired from his role and removed from the company but was able to keep his equity, allowing him to gain heavily once PayPal went public. Today, Musk no longer owns any stock or equity of any kind in PayPal.