Becoming a billionaire is everyone’s dream. Who doesn’t like to live a life of luxury with access to all the amenities there can be? However, the path to becoming a billionaire isn’t easy. And that stands true even more for people who are self-made billionaires. The sheer effort and odds that requires to be defied are truly commendable. Let's take a look at the world’s 10 self-made youngest billionaires in 2021.
The 26-year-old CEO of Luminar Technologies is the youngest self-made billionaire on the Forbes list for 2021. He’s also received the prestigious fellowship by the billionaire investor Peter Thiel in 2012 to drop out of college and start his own venture. His tech firm, Luminar Technologies develops optical sensors for autonomous vehicles. As of 2021, companies like Toyota and Volvo have used Lidar-based technology in their cars.
The billionaire shot his way to the list after his company started trading in NASDAQ in December 2020 through a SPAC merger. He is currently valued at 2.4 billion dollars.
The story of Ritesh Agarwal is a truly fascinating case of rags to riches. Ritesh had a very humble beginning and dropped out of college in 2011 to pursue his plans of budget accommodations. Soon after in 2012, he got accepted into the Peter Thiel fellowship program and launched his own company, OYO rooms in 2013.
Since then, it has been a smooth sail for him. By the end of 2018, OYO rooms were valued at over 1 billion dollars. Soon after in 2019, Ritesh tripled his stakes in the business through share purchases and in the process saw his valuation rise to 1.1 billion dollars. Currently, he is the second-youngest self-made billionaire in the world.
The CEO of Snap Inc., Spiegel is more commonly known as the founder of the popular social media platform Snapchat. He jointly developed the app with two of his classmates, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown when he was studying at Stanford.
Soon after its initial release in 2012, the app grew by leaps and bounds reaching over 1 million users by the end of 2012. The popularity of the platform continued to grow and Spiegel became the youngest billionaire for the year 2015 in Forbes List after Snap Inc. went public. He is also one of the youngest CEO of a publicly traded company. Currently, his net valuation stands at 11.1 billion dollars.
John Collison is the cofounder of Stripe, a financial service that primarily operates for the digital payment in e-commerce platform as well as building different application programming interfaces.
John and his brother started with their first venture, Shuppa, and Auctomatic which was a software company primarily developing tools for e-bay back in 2008. They co-founded stripe in 2010 which received funding from CapitalG and General Catalyst. The company was also backed by Elon Musk and Peter Thiel in its initial days. The investment made the company to be valued at over 9 billion dollars which took John’s net worth to 1.1 billion dollars. He was the youngest self-made billionaire on the Forbes List of 2016.
Bobby Murphy is the co-founder of Snap Inc. along with Evan Spiegel and Reggie Brown. Originally belonging to the same Sigma Kappa fraternity at Stanford University, Murphy and Spiegel first had a failed venture called Future Freshman which worked to advise the new graduates on career choices.
Later both of them worked on a photo disappearing app called Picaboo which later became Snapchat. Murphy spearheaded the engineering division of Snapchat as well as working with the Snap Labs team to develop the spectacles, their flagship camera glasses. At the time of the IPO, Murphy and Brown both had over 45% control of the share. Murphy is currently estimated to be worth 10.2 billion dollars.
Probably the most well-known name on the list, Mark Zuckerberg is an American media magnate and the founder of Facebook. Zuckerberg was born in White Plains, New York. Since his early days, he showed a glimpse of his talents through various activities. When kids his age were busy playing games, Zuckerberg was into making them. He entered Harvard with a keen interest in software development. However, he soon dropped out to pursue the development of Face Smash which was renamed Facebook later on.
Today Facebook Inc. controls several social media sites like Instagram and Whatsapp that drive the largest share of social media traffic in the world. Zuckerberg was the youngest billionaire in 2007 and with a net worth of over 117 billion dollars, he is currently the 5th richest person in the world.
Dustin Moskovitz was one of four co-founders of Facebook. He was born in Gaines Florida and attended Harvard with a major in Economics. However, he left Harvard just after two years to work full-time for Facebook in Palo Alto.
In its initial days, Moskovitz was the first chief technology officer of Facebook and subsequently, the vice president of engineering. He led a team of engineers who designed the interface of the platform and gave it a shape as we all know it to be today. He also played a key role in developing the mobile version of the platform. Moskovitz left Facebook to pursue other ventures and in 2011, he was the youngest self-made billionaire based on his 2.34% stake at Facebook. Currently, he is valued at 19.2 billion dollars.
Nathan Blecharczyk is the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Airbnb. Blecharczyk was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from Harvard. Initially, he started his career as an engineer at Opnet technologies. He along with Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia came up with the idea of Airbnb. Though initially failing to raise capital, the project came into the attention of the Y combinator and was soon fast-tracked into their seed funding program.
Blecharczyk played a key role in the development of the initial interface of Airbnb and soon after transitioned into the position of CTO of the organization. Blecharczyk is currently valued at 13.3 billion dollars.
Pavel Durov is an entrepreneur from Russia who is also the founder of the popular social media platform VK. Since being removed from the position of CEO of VK, he is known for his continued effort to ensure the data safety of the users which is believed to be the reason for his fall out with VK. Durov was born in Leningrad and attended St Petersburg University.
After his dismissal from VK, he went on to become a citizen of St Kitts and Neves. He then founded the end-to-end encrypted messaging platform Telegram. Currently, Durov is valued at 17.2 billion dollars which are largely driven by his control of Telegram.
The co-founder of Stripe and brother of John Collison, Patrick Collison is a key stakeholder of Stripe. Born in Ireland, Collison had a knack for software and AI from his early days. He decided to participate in the 40th Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition with his AI-powered project called Issac.
The innovative ideas continued with the foundation of Shuppa and later Auctomatic. Collison later attended MIT and has been a key figure in the development of Stripe. Currently, he is valued at 11.4 billion dollars.
With Forbes estimating a new billionaire being made every 17 hours, it's only natural that young people would take a stride in this list. However, this list consists of people that defied all odds to establish themselves on the global map as well as contribute to the social causes.