We’ve heard plenty about millionaires – they’re all in Hollywood and all over our front pages. But how many billionaires do you know? Not many right? Then you probably know even fewer under the age of forty. It may seem unbelievable that someone could have earned such a great amount of wealth, having lived just a few decades… like there’s a one in a billion chance of it ever happening! But there are a lucky few who have what it takes to become a young billionaire.
Needless to say, most of these young billionaires amassed their wealth through founding or cofounding a company that eventually went onto enjoy a massive amount of success. But what were their ideas? How did they get their businesses off the ground? Which gaps in the market did they fill? How do you go from not having a million to your name, to becoming a self-made billionaire? Well, get to know 20 of our planet’s youngest billionaires and you will find that you need drive, determination and ambition, qualities that they have in spades…
How Did These Young Billionaires Achieve Their Fortunes?
But really, how on earth were they able to do it – earn such a phenomenally huge sum of money? Well, here are a few tips: if you have a good college friend or a sibling that you’re close to – they’re probably your best bet to start a company with as some of our billionaires have demonstrated. Also, don’t be afraid to fail, if if you do, learn from it! One more thing: starting a company at college or just dropping out of college altogether seems to have worked out for one or two of our youngest billionaires…
At 37, he’s one of the oldest on our list, but still very much under 40! In 2006, he founded Dajiang Innovation Technology while he was still at college.
20. Frank Wang Tao – 37 – $3.4 Billion
It was a decade ago now that, Frank Wang Tao founded Daijang Innovation Innovation Technology when he was still a student at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. And guess where the company’s at now… it’s only the world’s largest consumer drone company!
NEXT: Imagine having the same clients as our next billionaire…
Alongside one of our other billionaires on the list, he is a co-CEO of the software company, Atlassian.
19. Mike Cannon-Brookes – 37 – $1.9 Billion
Atlassian now has 15 software products and some of its biggest clients include NASA and Twitter! So let it be known that Mike Cannon-Brookes, along with his fellow cofounder, have connections!
NEXT: This one cofounded Atlassian with Mike, but where did the two become buds?
And here he is, the other CEO of Atlassian. He started the company with Mike Cannon-Brookes, a good friend from college.
18. Scott Farquhar – 37 – $1.9 Billion
The company grew surprisingly quickly and in 2015 had the fifth largest US IPO. Now that’s an impressive stat – especially for a company whose CEOs have not yet reached the big 4-0!
NEXT: He’s one of quite a few billionaires from this East Asian country, guess where!
Zhang is a cofounder of the education services company, TAL Education, and has been its chairman and CEO since day one…
17. Zhang Bangxin – 36 – $1.3 Billion
Unfortunately, there are no available photos of Zhang but here’s what we know about him: he was named China’s entrepreneur of the year in 2013 which he totally deserved considering he’s one of their most successful! He studied at Sichuan University and the China Europe International Business School and the education he received there paved the way for the growth in his entrepreneurial ability and wealth!
NEXT: Guess which online hospitality service this entrepreneur helped to cofound!
He had tried and failed to start successful companies in the past but his true success started when he cofounded Airbnb with Nathan Blecharczy, another on our list.
16. Joe Gebbia – 35 – $3.6 Billion
Right now he primarily works as the company’s chief product officer. Joe came up with the idea for the company with Brian Chesky, who like himself, was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design. Brian is now the CEO. Here’s some more on the success of the company: Airbnb has been used by over 60 million people worldwide. That’s no surprise considering they are able to choose from millions of apartments in hundreds of countries!
NEXT: In 2009, this billionaire only employed ten people, guess how much he’s worth now…
Just like fellow billionaire Joe Gebbia, he had tried to set up some companies in the hope of success which didn’t quite work out…
15. Lin Qi – 35 – $1.5 Billion
Eventually, he did find success. He started a web gaming company called Youzu. Can you believe this young billionaire employed only ten people in 2009? Now look what the company has become! A lot of his wealth is down to the fact that in 2014 Susino Umbrella bought his company. Lin is currently the chairman of Youzo and still very much plays an active role.
NEXT: Which electronic commerce company did this man help found?
He cofounded Flipkart and has mainly worked as the chief operating officer since the company’s inception. He will now soon be serving as CEO, taking over from Sachin Bansal. Sachin will instead serve as executive chairman.
14. Binny Bansal – 35 – $1.4 Billion
In 2015, he and his fellow cofounder, Sachin Bansal, made their debut on the list of the youngest billionaires in the world. Although it’s very tempting to refer to the pair as the Bansal Brothers, they’re not actually brothers…
NEXT: So how are the Bansal dream team related then?
Although Binny and Sachin have the same surname, it’s no more than a coincidence! They are not related in any way whatsoever.
13. Sachin Bansal – 35 – $1.4 Billion
They may not share the same genes but they do share a business! In 2007, the two Bansals founded Flipkart together. Flipkart is an online book seller. It’s India’s most successful online retailer, with millions of users and products from all around the world.
NEXT: This one used to be Mark Zuckerberg’s right-hand man, what’s he up to now?
He cofounded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg, however, he is no longer involved in the running of the company…
12. Eduardo Saverin – 35 – $5.6 Billion
Eduardo continues to hold 53 Million Facebook shares worth $2.18 billion. He is now an angel investor and directs the company, 99, which is a property rental and sales website.
NEXT: This CEO became a billionaire just two years ago: here’s what he’s up to now…
He Zhitao is the CEO of Hangzhou Liaison Interactive Technology. He achieved his billionaire status in 2015, when the value of his shares in the company hugely and swiftly increased.
11. He Zhitao – 34 – $1.2 Billion
His company’s aim as of now is to buy 55% of Newegg for $264 million. Newegg is an American online retailer of items including computer hardware and consumer electronics.
NEXT: He was working at Microsoft before starting his own company, earning him billions!
Who could have known when he graduated from Harvard that he’d go on to be such a huge success?
10. Nathan Blecharczyk – 33 – $3.6 Billion
After university, Nathan worked as a product manager at Microsoft when his old college roommate Joe Gebbia told him about his idea for Airbnb and asked him to help cofound it. Good thing Nathan agreed and left Microsoft – he’d totally be kicking himself otherwise! He currently serves as the company’s CTO.
NEXT: Which company did this CEO ditch in order to start making his billions?
Cheng is the CEO of the ride-hailing company Didi Kuaidi, a company which is similar to Uber.
9. Cheng Wei – 33 – $1.0 Billion
Before becoming a billionaire, he worked at Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company. Moving on from Alibaba was clearly the best decision he ever made!
NEXT: Yet another Chinese billionaire!
It was actually only early this year that Wang Yue became a billionaire. But how did he come to be so wealthy?
8. Wang Yue – 33 – $1.0 Billion
Well, he is the CEO of Shanghai Kingnet Technology, a position which he took on in 2009. Kingnet is now one of the biggest online game developers in China.
NEXT: He left Facebook with a fellow Facebooker, but which company did they go on to cofound together?
Dustin cofounded Facebook with Mark Zuckerberg and was actually Facebook’s first CTO. His time at and affiliation with Facebook is hugely responsible for his vast wealth!
7. Dustin Moskowitz – 33 – $10 Billion
He decided to leave the company nine years ago in order to cofound another company, Asana, with Justin Rosenstein who was also a former Facebook employee. However, he still profits from Facebook, where he holds a substantial stake.
NEXT: Find out who the youngest FEMALE billionaire is!
Aha! So you probably thought, this far into the list, that there would be no young female billionaires featured on it. Wrong! Elizabeth is a massively successful entrepreneur – and rich too!
6. Elizabeth Holmes – 33 – $4.3 Billion
Not only is Elizabeth the only woman in the top 20 wealthiest young people in the world, she is also one of the richest of the 20 with a fortune of over $4 billion! She founded the company Theranos, a blood-testing firm, when she was still just a 19-year-old student at Stanford. She ultimately dropped out of Stanford and what a worthwhile drop-out that was!
NEXT: If you don’t know this famous billionaire, where are you living?!
At the tender age of 23, this billionaire became the youngest to achieve such a status. Maybe you’ve heard of him…
5. Mark Zuckerberg – 32 – $45 Billion
Of course, Mark Zuckerberg is the cofounder and CEO of everyone’s favorite social networking site, Facebook. With nearly 2 billion users, Facebook has fast become the biggest, most popular form of communication via social media. He and his wife put their billions to good use and definitely do their bit for charitable causes. How could they not? They’re only the ninth richest couple on the entire planet!
NEXT: He’s in his 20s, how did he earn his massive fortune?!
Patrick and his brother John are both cofounders of Stripe, an online payment company. They always knew they were born entrepreneurs! Their company value is estimated to be at about $5 Billion.
4. Patrick Collison – 28 – $1.0 Billion
Patrick was studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology when he decided to pack it in to become a billionaire instead of a graduate in debt!
NEXT: This one became the third richest young billionaire off a photo-sharing app (it’s not Instagram!)
Bobby cofounded Snapchat with Evan Spiegel a mere five years after graduating from college! He serves as the CTO of the company and what a position it turned out to be, considering he’s the third youngest billionaire and all!
3. Bobby Murphy – 28 – $1.8 Billion
He met his buddy Evan Spiegel when they were both students at Stanford. In fact, the two of them were Kappa Sigma fraternity brothers there. It was a bankable bromance in the making!
NEXT: Which Irish billionaire cofounded a company with his brother?
He’s another college drop-out. Can you believe he left Harvard only to go on to achieve a billionaire status?!
2. John Collison – 26 – $1.0 Billion
It was only in 2011 when John and his brother Patrick cofounded Stripe. The Irish brothers perfectly demonstrate how teamwork can go a long way in terms of success!
NEXT: Can you guess which company earned this billionaire, the very top spot?
Evan Spiegel, the CEO of Snapchat, is currently the youngest billionaire in the world after creating the popular photo-sharing app with Bobby Murphy and another Stanford graduate.
1. Evan Spiegel – 26 – $1.8 Billion
Everyday about 150 million people use Snapchat to send photos to their friends. But here’s the deal, unlike other apps like Instagram, the pictures actually disappear upon being viewed, allowing for hilarity and fun to ensue! Evan and Bobby both own about 20% of Snapchat.