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These 10 Billionaires Earned Their Fortunes Thanks To Wall Street’s Latest Craze: The SPAC

The SPAC fever is at its height. A SPAC is what? It’s a novel approach of going public with the intention of purchasing a private company. 10 new billionaires have been made through SPACs since the beginning of 2020.

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You may have heard the phrase “SPAC” spoken in the recent months. For example, “WeWork may attempt to IPO through a SPAC in the upcoming months.” An SPAC is what? A “special purpose acquisition firm” is another name for it. In short, it’s a new way to get a company listed on a public stock exchange without going through the rigamarole of a traditional IPO process. A SPAC allows a group of investors to set up a front company and raise money through an IPO. After raising the necessary funds, they look for a company to purchase.

SPACs have been around for a while, but recently they’ve taken off. SPACs raised $13 billion in total in 2019. This amount increased to $82 billion in 2020.

Number 10 is Chamath Palihapitiya $1 billion net worth
Chamath Palihapitiya was an early adopter of the SPAC mania. He supported one that, in late 2019, joined with Virgin Galactic. The former Facebook CEO has since become a sponsor of SPACs for Clover Health and the real estate startup Opendoor. He intends to IPO SoFi through an impending SPAC.

#9. Henrik Fisker and a tie Net worth: each $1.6 billion
#8. Geeta Gupta and Fisker, jointly
Prior to its bankruptcy in 2013, Henrik Fisker managed Fisker Automotive, a Tesla competitor and maker of electric vehicles. With the Fisker Ocean SUV, scheduled for release in late 2022, Fisker and his wife are attempting to revive their business. Fisker made money when Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp. and SPAC merged in October 2020, making both he and his wife billionaires.

Shalom Meckenzie, No. $1. 7 billion in net worth
Shalom Meckenzie built the gambling technology platform, SBTech, which merged with DraftKings through a SPAC in April. Meckenzie serves on the board of DraftKings, a company whose stock increased in the early epidemic months.

Sixth: William Foley $1.9 billion in net worth
With SPACS, William Foley has been extremely profitable. Since May 2020, he has funded five of them. Two have already been released, while three more are still under development. In addition to being the owner of the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights, Foley serves as the chairman of Fidelity National Financial.

Bill Foley (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Bill Foley (image via Getty Images/Ethan Miller)

Number 5 Andrew Paradise Value: $2.3 billion
Together with Casey Chafkin, Andrew Paradise launched Skillz in 2012. It is the first mobile esports platform that is publicly traded. It made its debut via a SPAC merger with Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp. in December 2020. Every day, five million esports competitions are held on Skillz.

Fourth: Austin Russell Net Worth: $2.4 billion
Austin Russell, who is 25 years old, became the youngest self-made millionaire in history when Luminar Technologies, the company he founded to develop electric vehicle sensors, went public through a SPAC merger with Gores Metropoulos. Private equity billionaires Alec Gores and Dean Metropoulos funded the SPAC. After being selected as a Thiel fellow and getting $100,000 to launch his startup, Russell left Stanford in 2012.

3. Trevor Milton (tie). $3 billion in net worth
Nikola, a maker of electric trucks, was co-founded by Trevor Milton. The value of Nikola soared in June following a SPAC merger, pushing Milton’s net worth (temporarily) north of $8 billion. In September 2020, Milton left the company amid claims of fraud against investors.

#2. (tie) Justin Ishbia $3 billion in net worth

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