youngest billionaires in the world under 40

On 29 September 1916, John Davison Rockefeller was declared the world’s first billionaire. Born on a farm in Richford, New York, the famed American industrialist and philanthropist made the bulk of his fortune by founding The Standard Oil Company. Rockefeller was 77 when his status as one of the richest individuals in modern history was secured.

Ever wonder how old and how much are they worth considering being the youngest billionaires in the world?

In March 2019, Forbes estimated that there were 2,153 billionaires in the world. Earlier that month, the business magazine also generated widespread publicity – and some controversy – by announcing that celebrity-turned-cosmetics mogul Kylie Jenner, at 21, had become “The Youngest Self-Made Billionaire Ever.” Given her privileged upbringing and the sizable public profile that membership in the Kardashian family granted her, Jenner did not fit the mould of the “bootstrapper” – the rags-to-riches trajectory embodied by the likes of Rockefeller, Oprah Winfrey, and George Soros. And yet: Jenner was also not a “silver-spooner” – someone who simply inherited his or her wealth without doing much work.

LIST: Top 30 Youngest Billionaires in The World Under 40 (2020) Click To Tweet

As the rich get richer, they also seem to be getting younger and younger. Using data from Forbes’ real-time billionaires’ list, this article profiles 30 of the world’s youngest billionaires (as of March 2020) – and how they made it to the coveted $1,000,000,000 financial milestone. Few are genuine “bootstrappers” who attained their wealth despite being born into significant adversity and financial hardship, but many, like Jenner, had to contribute their share of inspiration and perspiration to outrank their peers and elders.

List Of 30 Youngest Billionaires in The World Under 40

1. Kylie Jenner (delisted)

Age: 23 years

Net worth: $1.0B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Kylie-Jenner
Kylie Jenner
Forbes

Update June, 2020: As of latest coverage provided by Forbes, Kylie Jenner is no longer listed.

Jenner’s appearance on the cover of Forbes incited much debate about whether her wealth was truly “self-made.” Her long-time appearance on Keeping Up with the Kardashians (since 2007) undoubtedly helped her to achieve the stratospheric levels of social media fame (she has 165 million followers on Instagram) that helped Kylie Cosmetics, the company she founded in 2015, reach a valuation of $900 million in 2018. Coty Inc. specifically cited Jenner’s social media reach among Gen Z consumers as the reason for its acquisition of a 51% stake in Kylie Cosmetics (for $600 million) in November 2019.

2. Alexandra Andresen

Age: 24 years

Net worth: $1.3B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Alexandra-Andresen
Alexandra Andresen
Frédéric Boudin, Ferd

The Norwegian heiress held the title of the world’s youngest billionaire from 2016 – 2018 (until Jenner made her billionaire debut). She is the youngest daughter of Johan Henrik Andresen, who is one of the richest men in Norway. As the owner of Ferd – a multibillion-dollar holding company with sizable real estate assets and partial ownership of companies like Swix, Elopak, and Aibel – he single-handedly made his daughters billionaires in 2007 when he transferred 42.2% worth of ownership stakes of Ferd to Alexandra and her sister Katharina. Alexandra is a professional equestrian with sponsorships from Kingsland and Samshield.

3. Katharina Andresen

Age: 25 years

Net worth: $1.3B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Katharina-Andresen
Katharina Andresen
Forbes

Like her younger sister Alexandra, Katharina is one of the many European heirs that dominate this list of youngest billionaires. Despite her sizable 42.2% ownership stake in Ferd, her father Johan is still the main person responsible for its operations as a prominent investor in Norway. While he has publicly declared that he will not force his daughters to work in the family business, it appears that Katharina is more likely than Alexandra to eventually follow his footsteps. She studied social sciences at the Amsterdam University College and presently works at Brav – a Norwegian sporting goods company that is owned by Ferd.

4. Gustav Magnar Witzoe

Age: 27 years

Net worth: $2.6B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Gustav-Magnar-Witzoe
Gustav Magnar Witzoe

Witzoe inherited 47% of SalMar ASA – one of the world’s largest producers of farmed salmon – from his father in 2013. (Norway abolished its inheritance tax laws in 2014 – making it unlikely for other Norwegian billionaires to transfer ownership of family-owned corporations to their offspring to avoid hefty taxes). Fish farming may seem like a niche industry, but it is one of Norway’s largest industries. Apart from contributing to the family business, Witzoe has worked for MGM property and has attempted to make his own wealth by investing in real estate investing and tech start-ups.

5. John Collison

Age: 30 years

Net worth: $3.2B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-John-Collison
John Collison, president and co-founder of Stripe
Getty Images

The Irish entrepreneur co-founded Stripe with his brother Patrick in 2009, after dropping out of Harvard and relocating to Silicon Valley. Both of them grew up in the countryside near Limerick, where their parents operated a lakeside hotel. Based in San Francisco, the financial technology company became the third-most valuable start-up in the United States in September 2019 when it attained a $35 billion valuation. Its payment processing operations involve hundreds of billions of dollars each year, with clients that include fledgling tech start-ups and tech titans like Uber, Lyft, Facebook, and Amazon. As of March 2020, Stripe has yet to undertake an initial public offering (IPO).

6. Evan Spiegel

Age: 30 years

Net worth: $2.3B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Evan-Spiegel
Evan Spiegel, co-founder and CEO of Snap Inc.
Jae C. Hong, AP

Spiegel was born in California and grew up in an upper-middle-class family (both his parents are lawyers). While studying product design at Stanford University, he came up with the idea for Snapchat (a social media app that allowed users to send disappearing photos and videos) with classmates Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown. As the co-founder and CEO of Snap Inc., Spiegel has 48% voting power and ownership of 18% of the company.  

7. Ludwig Theodor Braun

Age: 30 years

Net worth: $1.1B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Ludwig-Theodor-Braun
We couldn’t find a photo of him
Ruthson Zimmerman, Unsplash

Braun’s wealth comes from his 10% ownership of B. Braun Melsungen: a multinational German medical and pharmaceutical device company that has over 60,000 employees and facilities in over 60 countries. It was founded in 1839 (as a humble pharmacy that sold herbal remedies) by Julius Wilhelm Braun – Ludwig’s great-great-great-grandfather. When his father Ludwig Georg Braun became the company’s CEO in 1977, it had $24 million in annual sales (this has increased to $8 billion in 2019). Ludwig keeps a low profile and has no social media footprint.

8. Jonathan Kwok

Age: 31 years

Net worth: $2.1B

Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited

Jonathan is the younger son of Hong Kong real estate tycoon Walter Kwok, who inherited partial ownership of Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) – one of the world’s most valuable real estate companies – from his father Kwok Tak-seng. Jonathan and his older brother Geoffrey inherited their father’s direct stake in SHKP after their father died on 20th October 2018. They run Empire Group Holdings: the property development and investment company their father founded after leaving SHKP.

9. Patrick Collison

Age: 32 years

Net worth: $3.2B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Patrick-Collison
Patrick Collison, co-founder and CEO of Stripe
Techcrunch

Patrick is two years older than his brother John. The Collison brothers have the same new worth as co-founders of Stripe, but Patrick acts as its CEO. Patrick dropped out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions with his brother. Their company’s first payment was processed while both brothers were vacationing in South America.

10. Bobby Murphy

Age: 32 years

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Bobby-Murphy
Bobby Murphy, co-founder and CTO of Snap Inc.
Jemal Countess, Getty Images

Net worth: $2.3B

Murphy grew up in Berkeley; his parents both worked for the state of California. His mother grew up in the Philippines, before emigrating to the United States. He studied mathematical and computational science at Stanford University, where he met Snapchat co-founders Evan Spiegel and Reggie Brown. All three were members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. As the co-founder and CTO of Snap Inc., Spiegel has 47% voting power and ownership of 18% of the company.

11. Eva Maria Braun-Luedicke

Age: 33 years

Net worth: $1.3B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Eva-Maria-Braun-Luedicke
Eva Maria Braun Luedicke
Müller-Neumann

Like her distant cousin Ludwig Theodor Braun, Eva has a significant stake in B. Braun Melsungen: 12%. Ludwig’s father, Ludwig Georg Braun, is her mother’s cousin. Eva also serves as of the company’s supervisory board members.

12. Lukas Walton

Age: 34 years

Net worth: $16.3B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Lukas-Walton
Lukas Walton
Walton Family Foundation, YouTube

Lukas became one of the world’s youngest billionaires when his father, John Walton, died as a result of a plane crash in 2005. He inherited one-third of his father’s wealth, which included ownership of American multinational retail corporation Walmart Inc. (which was founded by John’s father Sam Walton). Lukas also owns stakes in First Solar and Arvest Bank. He has worked for the Walton Family Foundation and True North Venture Partners.

13. Jihan Wu

Age: 34 years

Net worth: $1.8B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Jihan-Wu
Jihan Wu, Bitcoin mining billionaire
Getty Images

Jihan was born in Chongqing, China. He studied economics and psychology at Peking University. While working as a financial analyst, he developed an interest in bitcoin. In 2013, he co-founded Bitmain: China’s largest cryptocurrency mining-chip company. Despite stepping down as co-CEO of Bitmain in 2019, he still owns about 20% of the company. He co-founded the Singapore-based cryptocurrency trading solutions provider Matrixport that year.

14. Christopher Kwok

Age: 34 years

Net worth: $1.6B

Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited

Christopher is the younger son of real estate magnate Raymond Kwok: the chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties. He attended Harvard University and earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Since April 2016, he has served as the executive director of SHKP. He oversees its sales operations, project management and the leasing of significant projects.

15. Ginia Rinehart

Age: 34 years

Net worth: $1.3B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Ginia-Rinehart
Ginia Rinehart
Philip Gostelow, Domain.com.au

Ginia is the youngest child of Australian mining magnate and heiress Gina Rinehart. With an estimated net worth of $14.6B, Gina is the richest Australian and one the world’s wealthiest women. She is the Chairman of Hancock Prospecting: the mineral exploration and extraction company that her father Lang Hancock founded in 1955 (Gina has multiplied its net worth several hundred times over since she took over). Ginia’s wealth comes from her status as a beneficiary of the Hope Margaret Hancock Trust, which owns 23.6% of the shares in Hancock Prospecting. After studying and working in London, Ginia has been appointed to various Hancock Prospecting boards.

16. Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha

Age: 35 years

Net worth: $3.8B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Aiyawatt-Srivaddhanaprabha
Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha
Getty Images

Aiyawatt is the son of billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, who died in a helicopter crash in 2018. He replaced his father as the chairman and CEO of King Power International Group: Thailand’s largest duty-free retailer. It has an estimated annual revenue of $3.2 billion. Aiyawatt and his family also own the English football club Leicester City – and significant stakes in Thai AirAsia and MahaNakhon (the country’s tallest skyscraper).

17. Geoffrey Kwok

Age: 35 years

Net worth: $2.6B

Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited

As the older brother of Jonathan Kwok, he oversees the operations of Empire Group Holdings and owns a direct stake in SHKP. Part of his wealth also comes from his status as a beneficiary of five large family trusts (which are presently held by his grandmother Kwong Siu-hing). He joined the SHKP board in 2018, after helping the company run its serviced apartment and hotel operations in China and Hong Kong.

18. Chris Wanstrath

Age: 35 years

Net worth: $1.6B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Chris-Wanstrath
Chris Wanstrath, co-founder of GitHub
GitHub

Wanstrath grew up in Ohio and briefly attended the University of Cincinnati. He helped CNET to develop GameSpot (a video gaming website) before co-founding GitHub in 2008. The software development platform was acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion in June 2018 (he was the firm’s largest individual shareholder at that point). After stepping down as GitHub’s CEO in 2018, he became a technical fellow at Microsoft.  

19. Tom Persson

Age: 35 years

Net worth: $1.4B

Tom Persson
Mattias Bardå, H&M

Tom is the grandson of Erling Persson: the man who founded H&M (Hennes & Mauritz) in Sweden in 1947. Though his brother Karl-Johan is the CEO of H&M and his father Stefan serves as its chairman, Tom has no professional role in the operations of the world’s second-largest clothing retailer. He graduated from London’s Met Film School and works in Stockholm’s film industry.

20. Julio Mario Santo Domingo, III.

Age: 35 years

Net worth: $1.2B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Julio-Mario-Santo-Domingo-III
Julio Mario Santo Domingo, III (right)
Bestlifeonline.com

Julio’s wealth mostly comes from his late grandfather, a Colombian-American businessman who owned a significant stake in SABMiller: one of the world’s largest beer companies. After graduating from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in architecture, he pursued a career as a DJ in New York City through the music label Sheik ‘N’ Beik.

21. Mark Zuckerberg

Age: 36 years

Net worth: $63.1B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Mark-Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder and CEO of Facebook
Anthony Quintano, CC by 2.0

As the richest and most famous individual on this list, Zuckerberg needs no introduction. His trajectory as a Harvard dropout to the ranks of the world’s richest individuals has been widely reported – and even fictionalised in the Oscar-winning 2010 film The Social Network. Apart from being the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of the world’s most popular social network (it has over 2.4 billion monthly active users), Zuckerberg also owns 15% of its stock.

22. Zhang Yiming

Age: 36 years

Net worth: $16.2B

Zhang Yiming
Shannon Stapleton, REUTERS

Zhang graduated from Nankai University in Tianjin with a degree in software engineering. After working at the travel website Kuxun and Microsoft, he founded ByteDance in 2012. Headquartered in Beijing, the internet technology company headquartered is best known for Toutiao (a content platform) and TikTok – the 7th most downloaded mobile app of the decade.

23. Dustin Moskovitz

Age: 36 years

Net worth: $10.7B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Dustin-Moskovitz
Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Asana
Headtopics.com

Most of Moskovitz’s wealth comes from his 2.34% stake in Facebook – the company he helped Mark Zuckerberg co-found at Harvard. He left the company in 2008 and went on to co-found Asana (a work management platform) that same year. The company achieved a $1.5 billion valuation in 2018.

24. Pavel Durov

Age: 36 years

Net worth: $3.4B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Pavel-Durov
Pavel Durov, founder of Telegram
Fortune.com

A graduate of Saint Petersburg State University, Durov is often referred to as “Russia’s Zuckerberg” for creating Vkontakte (VK) – the country’s biggest social network. After leaving VK in 2014, he founded Telegram Messenger in 2013. The popular cloud-based instant messaging app now has over 300 million users worldwide.

25. Caroline Hagen Kjos

Age: 36 years

Net worth: $2.1B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Caroline-Hagen-Kjos
Caroline Hagen Kjos
Lise Åserud

Kjos became a billionaire in 2014 when she gained ownership of a majority stake of Canica AS holding company from her father: Norwegian billionaire Stein Erik Hagen. She lives in Switzerland, where she serves as chairman of Canica and deputy director at Komplett AS.

26. Friederike Braun-Luedicke

Age: 36 years

Net worth: $1.2B

Praha – Chodov, The Park – V Parku 16, B. Braun
Wikimedia.org

Like his sister Eva Maria, Friederike owns 12% of B. Braun Melsungen. His mother Barbara serves as a member of the company’s supervisory board.

27. Agnete Kirk Thinggaard

Age: 37 years

Net worth: $6.3B

Agnete Kirk Thinggaard
Billedbladet.dk

The Lego heiress shares a 75% ownership stake in the world-famous toy company with her father, sister, and brother. She is the great-granddaughter of Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter who founded The Lego Group in 1932. Apart from being a Danish Olympic dressage rider, she is a member of the Lego Foundation board. Part of her wealth comes from KIRKBI A/S: her family’s holding and investment company.

28. Nathan Blecharczyk

Age: 37 years

Net worth: $4.1B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Nathan-Blecharczyk
Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder of Airbnb
Techinasia.com

Blecharczyk grew up in Boston and attended Harvard University. After working as an engineer at OPNET Technologies, he co-founded Airbnb with Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia in 2008. He serves as the company’s chief strategic officer and the chairman of Airbnb China. The company has gained a $31 billion valuation and is expected to go public in 2020.

29. Adam Kwok

Age: 37 years

Net worth: $2.2B

Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited

Adam’s father, Thomas Kwok, was the joint chairman and managing director of SHKP. After his father was jailed for bribing a government official in 2014, Adam began working as an executive director at the company.

30. Daniel Ek

Age: 37 years

Net worth: $2.1B

Youngest-Billionaires-in-The-World-Daniel-Elk
Daniel Ek, founder and CEO of Spotify
Routenote.com

Ek grew up in Stockholm and dropped out of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology to pursue his entrepreneurial ambitions. By selling off his ownership in Advertigo and earning substantial wealth by working at Tradera, Stardoll, and μTorrent, Ek became a millionaire before he co-founded Spotify in 2006. The popular music streaming service now has 248 million monthly active users and 113 million subscribers. Ek is the company CEO and has nearly 9% of ownership and 37% of voting control.

The old proverb “all roads lead to Rome” does not seem to apply to the world’s youngest billionaires. Most of them fall into two clear categories: self-made technology entrepreneurs (Kylie Jenner is an exception here) and “silver-spooners” who inherited significant stakes in multi-billion-dollar family conglomerates.

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