Over the years, we have heard about billionaires like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and many others. We know about their creations, investments, and we have learnt about their success strategies in articles, videos and even audio tapes. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Tesla and SpaceX creator Elon Musk and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos turned their startup companies into successes – and made themselves billionaires in the process. Even in death, Steve Jobs’ innovation (Apple) still lives on – just recently, the new and improved iPhone was released.
However, we would like to bring it back home and know about the newest people to acquire wealth, all stars of technology who between them have a net worth of trillions of dollars. The list includes those named in 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.
Nine men and women have been named as the second wave of company founders to join the tech billionaires club.
Jan Koum, CEO of WhatsApp; $9.7 billion
41-year old Jan Koum, CEO of WhatsApp, didn’t come from a wealthy family. He moved to California from Ukraine at the age of 16 and taught himself computer tech in high school. He started his company, Whatsapp, after being rejected for a job he applied to at Facebook. The application has morphed since the past years, allowing people to text, video call and voice call, and share status messages. In 2014, Facebook offered a $22 billion bid for WhatsApp but it was declined. That couldn’t have been a better choice from WhatsApp
Brian Acton, co-founder of WhatsApp; $6.7 billion
Acton, 45-year old, co-founded WhatsApp with Koum after first meeting him while working for Yahoo. He 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 of Outcome Health; $3.6 billion
Shah dropped out of Northwestern to launch his business. He set up a health technology firm, Outcome Health selling tablets and touchscreen devices to healthcare providers, which also 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, CEO of DJI Technology; $3.2 Billion
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, becoming Asia’s youngest tech billionaire in 2017. 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.
Adam Neumann, CEO of WeWork; $2.6 billion
Adam Neumann created work space provider WeWork when he moved to the US after serving as an officer in the Israeli army. The 38-year-old got the idea for WeWork while running his previous business, a baby clothing company, in Brooklyn. That was the basis of his coworking company, which now has offices in 40 cities across the US. WeWork was recently valued at $21 billion.
David Zalik, CEO of GreenSky; $2 billion
43-year old Zalik moved to Alabama from Israel when he was four and proved to be something of a protégé. He enrolled at Auburn University but left without graduating to start his first business, MicroTech, a computer assembly company. He started financial tech provider, GreenSky, which helps home improvement contractors, healthcare providers and other small businesses allow their customers to pay for their services on credit.
John and Patrick Collison, President and CEO of Stripe; $1.1 billion each
Irish siblings 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 and John enrolled at Harvard. They both dropped out 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. They are the youngest billionaires to make the list.
Lucy Peng, Executive Chair of Ant Financial; $1.14 billion
44-year-old Peng heads up mobile payments provider Ant Financial. She 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.
Satoshi Nakamoto, 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. With bitcoin’s price having risen exponentially since then, Nakamoto could have a fortune in the millions or billions of dollars.
The stories of these people are really inspiring. While they don’t encourage you to drop out of school, it is worthy to note that, regardless of your background, your future is not defined by it.
Nigeria’s Sparkle partners with Network International for virtual and physical payment cards
Nigeria’s Sparkle signs with payment experts Network International for virtual and physical payment cards.
Nigerian fintech startup Sparkle, a digital ecosystem providing financial, lifestyle, and business support services, has partnered with Network International, to power its recently launched payment card offering.
This is coming months after collaborating with Visa to enable them to issue Visa cards to its users.
Founded by former Diamond Bank chief executive officer (CEO) and tech entrepreneur, Uzoma Dozie with the aim of providing seamless solutions to Nigerian individuals, SMEs, and retailers. Sparkle’s new virtual and plastic debit cards are targeted at SMEs and upwardly mobile, unbanked consumers across Nigeria, bringing them the convenience, flexibility, safety, and security of cashless payments across various channels.
What they are saying
- According to Uzoma Dozie, “Digital adoption and customer experience are going to be dependent on the people, platform, and partnership. In the area of payment processing and data insights, Network International brings that to our platform, and we are truly excited about the future of the partnership and what it means for the enablement and transformational impact for Nigerians anywhere in the world who are connected to the Sparkle platform.”
- Also speaking on this new partnership, Andrew Key, Managing Director – Africa, Network International, said, “We are delighted to strengthen our strategic alliance with Sparkle as it seeks to further disrupt the payments offering to consumers and retailers in Nigeria. Building on our two decades of experience within payments and deep insight of the African market, we look forward to deploying our trusted platform and best-in-class technology towards supporting digital and financial inclusion of Nigerian consumers and businesses.”
Sparkles’ collaboration with Network International is based on their shared commitment to further the adoption of digital payments among emerging markets across Africa and the Middle East. Its users can make in-app payments with the new virtual card, and also make e-commerce transactions with the cards attached to their Sparkle profile.
This collaboration will offer Sparkle access to the Network’s years of experience and expertise in creating card solutions for emerging markets. The company can also benefit from Network’s advanced digital infrastructure and robust security protocols, avoiding the need to invest in expensive card management infrastructure.
Elon Musk to offer $100 million prize for best carbon capture technology
Elon Musk has announced a donation of $100 million prize money for the best technology that can capture carbon dioxide.
Tesla Inc CEO Elon Musk on Thursday took to Twitter to promise a $100 million prize for the development of the “best” carbon capture technology.
Elon Musk wrote in a tweet, “Am donating $100M towards a prize for best carbon capture technology,” details next week.
Carbon capture technology is designed to prevent the release of CO2 generated through conventional power generation and industrial production processes by injecting the CO2 into suitable underground storage reservoirs.
According to Reuters, “Capturing planet-warming emissions is becoming a critical part of many plans to keep climate change in check, but very little progress has been made on the technology to date, with efforts focused on cutting emissions rather than taking carbon out of the air.”
Since the tweet was shared, it has garnered thousands of responses from people because of the jaw-dropping cash prize. A lot of people have started sharing their carbon capture ideas.
The International Energy Agency said late last year that a sharp rise in the deployment of carbon capture technology was needed if countries are to meet net-zero emissions targets.
Newly-sworn-in U.S. President, Joe Biden has pledged to accelerate the development of carbon capture technology as part of his sweeping plan to tackle climate change. On Thursday, he named Jennifer Wilcox, an expert in carbon removal technologies, as the principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy at the U.S. Department of Energy.
Besides Tesla, Elon also heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a startup that is developing ultra-high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect the human brain to computers.
Google threatens to remove its search engine from Australia due to media code
Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia due to the media code introduced by the government.
Google said that it will disable its search engine in Australia if the government proceeds with a media code that would force it and Facebook Inc to pay local media companies for sharing their content.
The code requires Google and Facebook to enter mandatory arbitration with media companies if they cannot reach an agreement over the value of their content within three months.
It also requires the platforms to give the news businesses 14 days’ notice of algorithm changes, and non-discrimination provisions have been put in place to stop the tech giants from taking retaliatory action such as removing content or punishing organisations that participate in the code.
Mel Silva, Google Australia and New Zealand VP told Australia’s Senate Economics Legislation Committee today that Google would shut off the search in Australia if the government’s proposed media bargaining code becomes law. According to her, “The code’s arbitration model with bias criteria presents an unmanageable financial and operational risk for Google”
Australia announced the legislation last month after an investigation found Alphabet Inc-owned Google and social media giant Facebook held too much market power in the media industry, a situation it said posed a potential threat to a well-functioning democracy.
Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison said Australia would not respond to the threats as news media companies fired back at suggestions their content did not add value to the platforms. “Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That’s done in our Parliament. It’s done by our government, and that’s how things work here in Australia,” he said. “People who want to work with that, in Australia, you’re very welcome. But we don’t respond to threats.”
What you should know
- Google’s threats follow similar remarks made by Facebook Australia’s managing director, Will Easton in September, who announced plans to remove news articles from the social media’s main app if the media code is passed by Parliament.
- To avoid the operation of the code, Google and Facebook have no option but to cease linking to news altogether. If Google can’t reliably separate news results from other search results, then logically it may have to pull its entire search service from Australia.
- Google’s threat to limit its services in Australia came just hours after the internet giant reached a content-payment deal with some French news publishers.
- This new media code will affect millions of Australians who use Google Search and Facebook every month.