Technology has become a huge part of our lives over the years and it’s almost difficult to remember a time when we weren’t connected to the internet, searching things up on Google or making use of social media. As more and more African tech start-ups continue to crop up to our delight, we would like to take a step back and consider a couple of people who cashed in early and cashed in right, managing to rake in and amass a fortune with their forays into the technology world. Here are the ten richest tech billionaires in the world;
10. PONY MA
With a net worth of $18.2 billion, aged 44, China’s Pony Ma made money early in the stock market and proceeded to start Tencent Holdings with some college friends. The company began with a messaging service in China named QQ. QQ soon became a standard in early online messaging services and ever since, Tencent has since expanded, investing in businesses that range from music distribution to major video game studios like Riot Games.
9. MICHAEL DELL
Michael Dell is aged 51 and is currently worth $18.9 billion, he had been a pre-med student at the University of Texas, Austin, which he later dropped out of to begin building computers full-time. His company became one of the fastest growing in the country and by the time he was 23, he took the company public raising $30 million, $18 million of which went to him personally. He’s continued to run his namesake company for most of the years since its inception, and in Texas where it is still based, it is the second largest non-oil company behind AT&T.
8. STEVE BALLMER
At 59 years of age with a net worth of $25.9 billion, Steve Ballmer may no longer be with the company that brought him such enormous wealth, but he is sure still enjoying his money. Dropping out of business school at Stanford in 1980 to join Bill Gates at Microsoft as the company’s first business manager, he was initially earning a $50,000 salary and a stake in the company. He climbed the ranks from business manager to CEO during his time at Microsoft and is viewed as the second person (excluding founders and their family members) to become a billionaire from employee stock options.
7. JACK MA
Jack Ma is no relation to Pony Ma, he is however worth $26.3 billion and is aged 51, he founded, owns and operates Alibaba which is China’s equivalent of Amazon online store. The company went public in 2014 with a large stock offering of $25 billion.
6. SERGEY BRIN
Aged 42, Sergey Brin has a net worth of $36.2. He along with Larry Page co-founded Google in 1998 after they met in 1995 at Stanford. The company despite evolving through the years, still hinges most of its products on the foundation built by these two men. Brin currently oversees Google parent company Alphabet.
5. LARRY PAGE
Larry Page is the slightly richer co-founder of Google, like his friend he is aged 42 but has a net worth of $37.8 billion. He became a billionaire at 30 and is currently the CEO of Google’s parent company; Alphabet where Sergey Brin serves as the President and he is responsible for the algorithm at the heart of Google’s search engine.
4. LARRY ELLISON
Larry Ellison is the oldest tech billionaire featured on this list, but a net worth of $46.1 billion at 71 is nothing to feel sad about. He co-founded Oracle Corp, one of the worlds largest software companies, coming in second only next to Microsoft in terms of software use. Oracle deals in database software for businesses and governments and middleware that helps software developers create their own programs. Larry Ellison was at one time the highest paid CEO in the world and actually owns a Hawaiian island called Lanai.
3. MARK ZUCKERBERG
Alternatively, Mike Zuckeberg is the youngest tech billionaire on this list, aged 31 with a net worth of $46.2 billion, the Harvard dropout and developer of Facebook does not look to be slowing down. He has also gained quite the reputation for philanthropy as both he and his wife have pledged to give out 99% of their wealth in their lifetime.
2. JEFF BEZOS
Jeff Bezos moved from garage owner to tech dominance with online retail operation, Amazon, which sells literally everything. he has also expanded his reach to owning a newspaper; Washington Post and through Blue Origin, putting rockets in space. He is now aged 52, with a net worth of $51.2 billion and continues to expand the reach of Amazon, with a latest project to revolutionize deliveries using drones.
Bill Gates is worth a whooping $89.4 billion and asides from being the richest tech billionaire, he is the richest person in the world currently at 60 years of age. He became a billionaire at 30 when Microsoft, which he co-founded, went public and he ran it for years eventually stepping down at the CEO in 2000. He still retains a position on the company’s board but is more focused on philanthropic work these days.
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