A few fortunate people had amazing years while the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the planet. Since Covid-19 shut everything down in March, 56 new billionaires have been created. The United States now has 659 billionaires. From the red hot IPOs of DoorDash and Luminar to healthcare and biotech surges to education-related companies helping navigate the new world of online schools, these new billionaires are at the forefront of their industries.
It’s also worth noting once again that even the richest multi-billionaires in the world saw their fortunes skyrocket in 2020. Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Bill Gates have all seen their net worths increase by insane amounts. Jeff Bezos’ value increased from the beginning of March 2020 to the present day to $194 billion. On January 1, 2020, Elon Musk was valued at $28 billion; as of today, he is worth $202 billion. At the start of 2020, Bill Gates was valued at $110 billion; today, his value is $135 billion.
2020 saw a booming IPO market despite the epidemic. Tony Xu, Stanley Tang, and Andy Fang of DoorDash all became millionaires on December 9 when their business went public on the New York Stock Exchange, with shares rising from the IPO price of $102 to $189. New billionaires were also made possible through rounds of venture capital funding, most notably Vlad Tenev and Baiju Bhatt of Robinhood.
Tony Xu, CEO of DoorDash (image via Kimberly White/Getty Images)
V. S. Tenev
$1 billion net worth
Trade-related app Financial Robinhood
In 2020, Vlad Tenev achieved billionaire status after raising $800 million from investors, which valued the business he co-founded at $11 billion. Recently, Robinhood made headlines for its involvement in the Reddit stock buyout of GameStop. It was discovered this summer that Robinhood makes its money by selling the trading information of its customers—most of whom are novice, middle-class traders—to Wall Street millionaires so they can outwit these traders like you and me. For failing to disclose its deals with major Wall Street trading firms, the SEC penalized Robinhood $65 million.
Igor and Dmitry Bukhman
Combined net worth: $1.4 billion
Playrix, an online gaming firm
Dmitry (35) and Igor (38) own and run the online gaming company Playrix, which is best known for the free mobile game apps Fishdom and Homescapes. Northern Russia served as the boys’ upbringing. While Dmitry was still a senior in high school, they began selling video games online. In 2004, they started Playrix. Since then, they have grown it into a business with annual sales of more than $1 billion. The firm’s games have no cost. Playrix generates income from in-app purchases.
Worth $1.7 billion is Jitse Groen.
Takeaway.com, a food delivery service
Food delivery company Takeaway.com, which operates in 10 European cities and Israel, was founded by Jitse Groen. He founded the company in 2000, took it public in 2016, and has a $1.7 billion net worth today thanks to a contactless delivery method he put in place when the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
$2.1 billion in net value
Shift4Payments, a provider of online payments
Jared Isaacman, 38, left high school to work as a security consultant for a payment processor. Today, he’s a billionaire thanks to the online payment processing company Shift4Payments, which he founded and took public in 2020. He’s been in the news lately because he bought all four seats on SpaceX’s upcoming first commercial space mission. He wants to raise $200 million for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital by doing this.
$2.4 billion in net value
Riches come from automotive sensors
When he was 17 years old, Austin Russell started Luminar Technologies. After his business went public on the Nasdaq in December 2020, his net worth—now at $2.4 billion—has increased dramatically. He is now 25. A self-driving car startup is called Luminar. He is the youngest self-made billionaire as a result. Additionally, he is among the first billionaires to come from the self-driving car sector. Russell owns 104.7 million shares in his company, or almost one-third of the total number of shares outstanding. Investors in Luminar include Peter Thiel, who helped Russell get Luminar started when he made him a Thiel Fellow in 2020, Alec Gores of The Gores Group, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, and billionaire Dean Metropoulos, who is chairman of Luminar. Russell participated in Thiel’s fellowship in 2012, which gave young individuals with innovative ideas the option to forgo their academic education in order to pursue their goals. Russell has had Thiel as an advisor ever since he left Stanford in 2012 to create Luminar. Revenues for Luminar are projected to reach $15 million in 2020.
Value: $2.8 billion
Value: $2.8 billion
Tony Xu has a $3.1 billion net worth.
Source: A food delivery service DoorDash
At Stanford University, Tony Xu, Stanley Tang, and Andy Fang all became friends before going on to create DoorDash. With people stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, DoorDash’s revenue skyrocketed. The first day after it went public in early December, its shares increased by 80%. Market capitalization for DoorDash is $45 billion. The CEO is Xu, the CTO is Fang, and the CPO is Tang.
$3.2 billion in net worth
Source: shoes from the Yeezy line.
Rapper Kanye West officially became a billionaire thanks to his Yeezy deal with Adidas and the immense popularity of his sneakers.
$15,3 billion in assets
Source: Smoore International Holdings, a manufacturer of vaporizers.
Smoore International Holdings was established by Chen Zhiping in 2009. Since the company’s IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in July 2020, the price of its shares has more than doubled. Chen’s firm makes vaping devices for RELX (one of the biggest brands in China), as well as British American Tobacco, Japan Tobacco, and the U.S.’s NJOY. Chen owns 34% of his business.
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