• Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Here are the top 10 youngest self-made billionaires in 2024

youngest Self made billionaires

There are currently more young self-made billionaires than ever. The youngest is 30, there are three school dropouts and one female among the top ten.

Despite varied paths, they navigate entrepreneurship with determination, resilience, and seizing opportunities. This new generation shapes the future, emphasizing the realization of dreams through passion and perseverance.

According to Forbes, here are the top 10  youngest self-made billionaires in 2024 as of March 9

Gary Wang – Age: 30

At the age of 30, Gary Wang holds the title of the youngest self-made billionaire with his cryptocurrency exchange venture, FTX. However, the empire he co-founded with Sam Bankman-Fried faced a downfall in November 2022 and was severely impacted as users rapidly withdrew their investments, leading to bankruptcy filings for FTX, FTX’s U.S. operations, and Alameda Research.

Wang’s substantial fortune was tied to a 16% stake in FTX and FTT tokens, his net worth currently stands at zero due to crypto market volatility.

Palmer Luckey – Age: 31

Palmer Luckey, aged 31 with a net worth of $2.3 billion, founded the virtual reality company Oculus VR in 2012 and successfully sold it to Facebook in 2014 for $2 billion in a combination of cash and stock. Notably, he created Oculus Rift, the company’s first virtual reality headset, at the impressive age of 16.

Departing from Facebook in 2016, Luckey established the defense startup Anduril in 2017. By 2022, Anduril aimed to raise $1 billion at an $8 billion valuation. Luckey’s groundbreaking work extends beyond gaming, impacting diverse sectors such as healthcare and education through the transformative applications of virtual reality technology.

Ben Francis – Age: 31

Ben Francis, with a net worth of $1.3 billion has carved a niche for himself in the fitness realm as the founder and CEO of Gymshark, a prominent sportswear brand based in Solihull, England. In a significant move in August 2020, he sold a 21% stake to the private equity firm General Atlantic, valuing the company at $1.45 billion, while retaining a 70% ownership.

Francis, who co-founded Gymshark in his parent’s garage at the age of 19 with friend Lewis Morgan, leveraged partnerships with fitness influencers on social media to propel the brand’s growth. Originating in 2012 when he was a college student delivering pizzas, Gymshark has expanded globally, with an office in Denver and its first brick-and-mortar store on London’s Regent Street in October 2022. Francis’s brand not only adds to his wealth but also leaves an indelible mark on the fitness fashion landscape, offering high-quality and fashionable activewear.

Andy Fang, Stanley Tang – Age: 31

Andy Fang and Stanley Tang are rooted in the food delivery app sector, with a net worth of $1.2 billion each, Fang and Tang co-founded the well-known platform DoorDash and currently hold the position of Head of Consumer Engineering and Head of Labs at San Francisco respectively.

With a substantial 4% stake in DoorDash, listed on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2020, Fang and Tang have harnessed the rising preference for convenient and swift meal solutions. Their entrepreneurial flair and inventive contributions to the food-tech industry have positioned them as one of the youngest self-made billionaires.

Sam Bankman-Fried – Age: 32

Sam Bankman-Fried, once a leading figure in the cryptocurrency space, faced a significant downfall in November 2022 as users rapidly withdrew investments from his FTX exchange. Bankman-Fried filed for bankruptcy for FTX, FTX’s U.S. operations, and Alameda Research. Despite being heralded for rescuing troubled crypto firms, his empire collapsed.

Launched in 2019, FTX grew into a major crypto derivatives exchange valued at $40 billion in early 2022. While his net worth, once at $26.5 billion, now sits at zero due to market fluctuations, Bankman-Fried’s influence highlights the risks and rewards in the volatile crypto industry.

John Collison – Age: 33

John Collison, with the net worth of $7.2 Billion, the co-founder and president of Stripe, a platform facilitating online payments for businesses and individuals, achieved a significant milestone in April 2020 when the company secured $850 million in funding, reaching a valuation of $36 billion. Alongside his brother Patrick, the idea for Stripe was conceived while they were both college students at MIT in Cambridge.

Collison’s company has transformed the landscape of online payments, particularly in response to the surging e-commerce market. His success shows the global influence and transformative potential that innovative fintech solutions can attain.

Evan Spiegel – Age: 33

Evan Spiegel

Evan Spiegel, aged 33 and with a net worth of $3.1 billion, is renowned for co-founding Snapchat and playing a pivotal role in shaping the social media landscape. As the CEO of Snap, Spiegel attained billionaire status at the young age of 25, overseeing a platform where 397 million users daily send disappearing photos and videos.

Launched in 2011 with co-founder Bobby Murphy, Spiegel graduated from Stanford in 2018 with a B.S. in product design, six years after dropping out to start Snapchat. Despite the competitive market, his dedication to user privacy and innovative features has maintained Snapchat’s relevance. Spiegel’s journey exemplifies the influential role of innovation in sustaining success within the ever-evolving tech industry.

Shunsaku Sagami – Age: 33

Shunsaku Sagami

Shunsaku Sagami, a 33-year-old entrepreneur from Japan with a net worth of $1.9 billion, has left a significant impact on the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) brokerage industry. As the founder and CEO of M&A Research Institute, a Tokyo-based firm utilizing AI for M&A advisory services, Sagami focuses on assisting small and mid-sized businesses, particularly those seeking acquisition due to aging ownership without family successors.

The company disrupted the market by introducing a fee structure where charges are applied to the seller only upon the successful completion of the deal, rather than upfront. After working in advertising and establishing and selling an IT venture post-graduation from Kobe University, Sagami founded the M&A Research Institute in 2018. His success underscores the crucial role of strategic business acumen and the global dynamics of financial markets.

Joe Lau – Age: 34

Joe Lau, aged 34, with a net worth of $1.5 billion, has gained prominence in the United States for his contributions to blockchain technology. As the co-founder of Alchemy, established in 2020, Lau has played a key role in powering numerous blockchain-based Web3 companies through their software. Alchemy garnered a private valuation of $10.2 billion in February 2022, with Lau holding an estimated 26% stake.

In December 2021, Alchemy Ventures was launched, aiming to bootstrap the industry by investing in current clients. Lau, along with co-founder Nikil Viswanathan, both Stanford graduates, initially achieved success with the meetup app Down to Lunch, which briefly dominated the Apple Store charts.

Taylor Swift – Age: 34

Taylor Swift

At 34 years old, Taylor Swift boasts a net worth of $1.1 billion, making her the sole artist on this list. Achieving billionaire status in October 2023, Swift’s wealth is attributed to her lucrative Eras tour and the value of her music catalog. As the first musician on this list, Swift stands out for her accomplishments based solely on her songs and performances.

With over $500 million from royalties and touring, a $500 million music catalog, and $125 million in real estate, Swift’s massive fortune is a testament to her unparalleled success in the music industry. Her presence underscores the varied pathways to achieving self-made billionaire status.