Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla and Space X creator Elon Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos turned their startup companies into successes – and made themselves billionaires in the process. Now Business Insider has compiled a list of the newest – and wealthiest – stars of technology who between them have a net worth of trillions of dollars.
The list includes those listed in the Forbes wealth rankings and the Bloomberg Billionaires index and is only focused on those who made the bulk of their wealth in the past three years.
Jan Koum, co-founder and CEO of WhatsApp
Jan Koum, CEO of WhatsApp $9.7 billion The 41-year old CEO of WhatsApp taught himself computer technology in high school. He grew up poor after moving to California from Ukraine at the age of 16. He once applied for a job at Facebook but was rejected, then started his own company – you might have heard of it – WhatsApp. The app started as a service that allowed users to share their status updates with friends but soon morphed into the messaging service it is today. In 2014, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg offered to buy WhatsApp for $22 billion in cash and stock. That must have been a bittersweet moment.
Jan Koum with WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton
Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp $6.7 billion Acton co-founded WhatsApp with Koum after first meeting him while working for Yahoo. The 45-year-old left the company in September to start a non-profit that will be ‘at the intersection of nonprofit, technology, and communication,’ he announced on Facebook.
Rishi Shah, CEO and Founder of Outcome Health
Rishi Shah, CEO of Outcome Health $3.6 billion Shah’s health technology firm Outcome Health selling tablets and touchscreen devices to healthcare providers. The son of a doctor, Shah dropped out of Northwestern to launch the business – which helps doctors communicate easily with patients. In May, Outcome Health was valued at $5.6 billion, with Shah owning a cool 80 percent of the company.
Frank Wang, founder of DJI, with one of his products
Frank Wang, CEO of DJI Technology $3.2 Billion The 31-year-old created DJI Technology – a drone making company – in 2006, before drones became big business. DJI’s sales accounted for 70 percent of all consumer and commercial sales of drones last year, according to Goldman Sachs. Wang started his company in his bedroom at Hong Kong University and was one of the first to market a ready-to-fly drone that actually flew. He became Asia’s youngest tech billionaire in 2017.
Adam Neumann, CEO of WeWork, pictured earlier this year
Adam Neumann, CEO of WeWork $2.6 billion The 38-year-old created work space provider WeWork when he moved to the US after serving as an officer in the Israeli army. He got the idea for WeWork while running his previous business, a baby clothing company, in Brooklyn. A nearby warehouse building was empty and Neumann convinced its owner to let him manage and rent out the space. That was the basis of his co working company, which now has offices in 40 cities across the US. It was recently valued at $21 billion.
David Zalik of GreenSky
CEO of GreenSky $2 billion Zalik, 43, moved to Alabama from Israel when he was four and proved to be something of a protege. Instead of going to high school, he enrolled at Auburn University but left without graduating to start his first business, MicroTech, a computer assembly company. He sold MicroTech in 1996 and some years later started financial tech provider Green Sky It helps home improvement contractors, healthcare providers and other small businesses allow their customers to pay for their services on credit.
Patrick Collison, co-founder and CEO at Stripe
John Collison, Patrick’s brother and co-founder and president of Stripe (Picture: Getty) John and Patrick Collison, President and CEO of Stripe $1.1 billion each Irish siblings John and Patrick are the youngest billionaires to make the list. John, 27 and Patrick, 29, grew up in Ireland, teaching themselves to code at a young age. Patrick graduated from secondary school at 16 and then enrolled at MIT. John followed him to the US a few years later, enrolling at Harvard. They both dropped out of college in 2009 to head to Silicon Valley to start what would become Stripe, an online payment processor. Today Stripe counts Lyft, Best Buy, and Google as customers.
Lucy Peng, executive chairman of Ant Financial
Lucy Peng, Executive Chair of Ant Financial $1.14 billion Peng heads up mobile payments provider Ant Financial. The 44-year-old now serves as executive chair for the company – which was recently valued at $74.5 billion. She cracked the Forbes billionaire list in March this year.
The identity of bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto remains a mystery
Creator of bitcoin The enigma that is Satoshi Nakamoto – likely a pseudonym – means little is known about the bitcoin creator. He or she – it could be a group of people – has never been photographed and their identity has never been confirmed, while the net worth of the company has only ever been speculated. In 2013, bitcoin developer Sergio Lerner estimated that Nakamoto owned nearly $1 million worth of bitcoin.