By Paul McGuirk
Statistically, it’s been the case for a while that billionaires are likely to be in their sixties. After all, it makes sense: many entrepreneurs will spend a lifetime creating ideas and investing in projects, before enjoying the fruits of their labors at retirement age.
However, in recent years, a new sort of entrepreneur has been bucking the trend. The development and early adoption of emerging technologies, the willingness to unlock opportunities in emerging markets and an uncanny ability to capture the zeitgeist have all resulted in these young upstarts staking a place in this year’s list of richest entrepreneurs under 40 – and here’s how:
Mark Zuckerberg (Age 33, $50 Billion)
As the founder and CEO of Facebook, Zuckerberg’s worth has soared after the stock price of the social media giant skyrocketed in recent years. Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004 before dropping out of Harvard. By 2012 he had floated the company on the stock exchange, and still owns a 17% stake in the firm.
Dustin Moskovitz (Age 33, $9.7 Billion)
Another Facebook success story, Moskovitz helped launch the social media platform with his then-roommate Mark Zuckerberg. After leaving Facebook in 2008, he co-founded the workflow software developer Asana, although most of his net worth can be attributed to his days at Facebook.
Nathan Blecharczyk (Age 36, $3.8 Billion)
As a co-founder of the successful peer-to-peer property rental company Airbnb, Nathan Blecharczyk oversees a service which offers an incredible 3 million listings throughout 65,000 cities across the world.
Brian Chesky (Age 36, $3.8 Billion)
Former bodybuilder Brian Cheskyis another Airbnb co-founder, who was working as an industrial engineer in LA before the room-sharing venture took off.
Joe Gebbia (Age 36, $3.8 Billion)
The third name in the Airbnb story, chief product officer Joe Gebbia met Brian Chesky at the Rhode Island School of Design. He initially wanted to pursue a career in fine art, hosting gallery shows in New York City. As students, Gebbia and his roommate Brian Chesky once purchased an air bed to rent out in their apartment, which is where the name of the world’s largest P2P property sharing site is said to have originated from.
Adam Neumann (Age 36, $2.5 Billion)
As a co-founder and CEO of the communal workspace platform WeWork, Adam Neumann specializes in renting out prime office space in some of the biggest cities in the world. Since 2010, his company has attracted investment from large financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and Softbank.
Sean Parker (Age 39, $2.4 Billion)
Yet another social media success story, Sean Parker had a brief tenure as the president of Facebook. With a keen interest in music, Parker invested in the streaming service Spotify in 2010. A keen philanthropist, in 2015 he launched the Parker Foundation, with $600 million of his fortune earmarked for global health, science and civic engagement.
Julio Mario Santo Domingo III (Age 29, $2.4 Billion)
As a DJ and heir to one of the world’s biggest beer fortunes, Julio Mario Santo Domingo III, who is of Columbian descent, now holds a sizeable stake in Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Evan Spiegel (Age 27, $2.1 Billion)
Snapchat creator Evan Spiegel became the youngest CEO of a public company after Snap began trading in March 2017. His platform, which facilitates the sending of disappearing messages, is used by approximately 170 million people every day.