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Masters of the Modern Hustle: 10 Youngest Self-Made Billionaires to Follow in 2024

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Youngest Self-Made Billionaires

Young entrepreneurs of the 21st century have been introducing revolutionary technology since the century began. Those advancements are creating the world’s youngest self-made billionaires.

The shocking fact is that many of them are first-generation entrepreneurs. Therefore, they contribute with dedication to making our world better together. The majority of them are tech-native. Hence, the primary focus is always on introducing new technology or upgrading existing technology.

The list of the youngest billionaires varies among the youngest self-made billionaires. These are the visionaries who aim to convert science fiction into reality. So, here we present to you a list of the 10 youngest self-made billionaires:

Here are the few self-made billionaires who made $1 billion before age 30

  1. Mark Zuckerberg: Co-founder of Facebook (Now Meta)
  2. Nathan Blecharczyk: Co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Airbnb.
  3. Patrick Collison and John Collison: Co-founder of Stripe.
  4. Evan Spiegel: Co-founder of Snap.
  5. Palmer Luckey: Founder of Oculus VR.
  6. Bobby Murphy: Co-founder of Snap Inc.
  7. Ritesh Agarwal: Founder of OYO Rooms.
  8. Ben Francis: Founder of Gymshark.
  9. Shunsaku Sagami: Founder and CEO M&A Research Institute
  10. Andy Fang: Co-Founder and CTO

1.    Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg
  • Net Worth: $155 billion.
  • Industry: Social Media and Technology
  • Company: Meta Platforms, formerly Facebook
  • Country: United States of America

Mark Zuckerberg is a popular personality around the world. He is the man who connected the world through Facebook. His vision began in a garage, and now he stands on the list of the top business tycoons. He is even one of the wealthiest people on the planet.

Facebook was created in 2004 with the purpose of creating a directory for Harvard College students. It allowed them to post photos and personal information. Later, in 2008, Zuckerberg became a self-made billionaire at the age of 23.

At the time, he was the youngest self-made billionaire, debuting at number 321 on the Forbes 400, worth $1.5 billion. By 2011, Zuckerberg’s net worth had increased nearly many folds to $155 billion in May 2024.

He is still 39 years old (in 2024) and has made the list of the top wealthiest people on the planet. Hence, he made his path to becoming one of the youngest self-made billionaires in the world, with a tag of richest person too.

2.    Nathan Blecharczyk

  • Net Worth: $10.6 billion
  • Industry: Hospitality
  • Company: Airbnb
  • Country: United States of America

Nathan Blecharczyk, the co-founder and chief strategy officer of Airbnb, is the pioneer of the tech revolution in the hospitality industry.

Blecharczyk was the first chief technology officer at Airbnb. He coded the company’s first website and built its engineering, data science, payment, and marketing teams. He has also overseen the creation of the Airbnb City Portal, reservation screening technology, and Airbnb-friendly apartments.

His contributions were crucial as the company matured and eventually went public with a successful IPO in December 2020. This IPO significantly increased the value of his shares, propelling him into billionaire status.

He was included in the 2023 Forbes 400 list of the youngest billionaires because of his net worth of $9.5 billion and his age of 40.

3.    Patrick Collison and John Collison

  • Net Worth: $7.2 billion and $5.5 billion
  • Industry: Payment Software
  • Company: Stripe
  • Country: Ireland and the United States of America

This brother duo from Ireland had an entrepreneurial mindset from their teenage. At a young age (19 and 17, respectively), they launched Shuppa, a software company in Ireland. While Shuppa wasn’t a major success, it ignited their passion for building businesses.

Recognizing the potential for innovation, the brothers set their sights on Silicon Valley. There, they impressed Y Combinator, a top startup accelerator, and secured funding for their next venture.

In 2010, they co-founded Stripe, a company with a clear mission: simplify online payments for businesses. Stripe’s focus on user-friendliness and developer tools resonated with the market, and the company gained traction quickly.

Their vision was further validated by investments from industry giants like Elon Musk and Peter Thiel. By 2016, a major investment from CapitalG and General Catalyst Partners had propelled Stripe’s valuation to a whopping $9.2 billion.

This incredible valuation had a life-changing impact on the Collison brothers. In 2016, it made them the youngest self-made billionaires in the world, with John holding the title of the slightly younger billionaire of the two.

4.    Evan Spiegel

  • Net Worth: $3.4 billion
  • Industry: Social Media
  • Company: Snap Inc.
  • Country: United States of America

Evan Spiegel’s journey to becoming one of the youngest self-made billionaires is a fascinating example of turning a unique idea into a massive success.

While studying at Stanford, Spiegel noticed a trend – a growing desire for impermanence in online communication. This insight sparked the core concept behind Snapchat: disappearing messages.

In 2011, with a clear vision, Spiegel teamed up with Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown to launch Snapchat. The app focused on fun features, filters, and a unique twist: ephemeral content that vanished after viewing. This resonated strongly with younger users.

Standing out in a world dominated by permanent social media profiles, Snapchat’s emphasis on privacy features like disappearing messages became a game-changer. It attracted a loyal user base that valued the fleeting nature of communication.

Facing a major turning point in 2013, Facebook offered a staggering $3 billion to acquire Snapchat. However, Spiegel, with remarkable confidence, saw an independent future for his company. This bold decision proved to be a golden move.

Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, went public in 2017 with a valuation exceeding $24 billion. This IPO propelled Spiegel to the top, making him one of the youngest self-made billionaires in the world at the impressive age of 25.

5.    Palmer Luckey

  • Net Worth: $2.3 billion
  • Industry: Virtual Reality and Defense Technology
  • Company: Oculus VR and Anduril Industries
  • Country: United States of America

Palmer Luckey’s story is a unique journey of a young entrepreneur achieving billionaire status not once, but twice! His passion for virtual reality (VR) sparked early. At just 16, he was tinkering with homemade VR prototypes using readily available parts.

This passion exploded into action in 2012. Still a teenager, Luckey launched Oculus VR from his dorm room. His innovative VR headset designs garnered major online attention.

Leveraging the power of crowdfunding, Oculus VR smashed its initial goal on Kickstarter, raising over $2 million. This early success not only validated the potential of VR but also caught the eye of tech giants.

In 2014, Facebook made a game-changing move, acquiring Oculus VR for a whopping $2 billion in cash and stock. This deal, at the time, was one of the biggest VR acquisitions ever. As the founder with a significant ownership stake, Luckey became a billionaire at the young age of 22.

While he remained with Oculus for a few years after the acquisition, Luckey eventually left in 2016 due to creative differences. However, his entrepreneurial spirit didn’t stop there. In 2017, he co-founded Anduril, a defense technology company focusing on cutting-edge applications: autonomous drones and artificial intelligence (AI) for military use.

As of December 2022, the company had secured funding valued at a staggering $8.5 billion. This success underlines Anduril’s potential for continued expansion. Hence, potentially propelling Luckey’s wealth further and solidifying his place as one of the youngest self-made billionaires.

6.    Bobby Murphy

  • Net Worth: $2.2 billion
  • Industry: Social Media
  • Company: Snap Inc.
  • Country: United States of America

Bobby Murphy’s story is intertwined with Snapchat’s meteoric rise. His background in computer engineering proved to be the perfect complement to Evan Spiegel’s vision. Together, they built a social media powerhouse.

Their partnership began at Stanford. Spiegel’s vision for a disappearing-message app met Murphy’s technical expertise. This dynamic duo wasn’t just about Spiegel’s ideas – Murphy likely played a key role in shaping user experience and driving innovation, like the now-famous filters and lenses.

Together, they co-founded Snap Inc., the company behind Snapchat. Their combined leadership saw them navigate crucial decisions, like monetizing through advertising while protecting user privacy. These strategies were instrumental in the company’s success.

The 2017 IPO of Snap Inc. made both Murphy and Spiegel billionaires. While Murphy may not have received the same individual spotlight as Spiegel, their financial success was built on their co-founding partnership.

7.    Ritesh Agarwal

  • Net Worth: $2.1 Billion
  • Industry: Hospitality
  • Company: OYO Rooms
  • Country: India

Ritesh Agarwal’s journey to billionaire status began with a backpacking trip across India at the young age of 17. This experience exposed him to a major gap in the hospitality industry – a lack of consistent quality and standards in budget hotels.

Determined to address this issue, Agarwal took action. In 2011, at just 18, he launched Oravel Stays, a platform similar to Airbnb but designed specifically for budget travelers in India.

However, Agarwal quickly recognized an even greater opportunity. In 2013, he pivoted and launched OYO Rooms. This new venture focused on partnering with existing budget hotels and helping them standardize their services and amenities.

OYO’s value proposition was simple: clean, predictable stays at affordable prices for budget-conscious travelers. This resonated strongly with a large customer base in India.

To fuel rapid growth, OYO adopted a franchise model. Partner hotels received branding, training, and technology support from OYO, allowing them to quickly upgrade their offerings.

Crucial funding also played a part in OYO’s success. In 2013, Agarwal secured a $100,000 Thiel Fellowship, which provided significant resources to propel the company forward.

With a winning strategy and strong financial backing, OYO embarked on an aggressive expansion. Not only did it dominate the Indian market, but it also established a presence in over 80 countries by 2024.

While OYO hasn’t gone public yet (as of May 2024), its massive valuation in private funding rounds has likely propelled Agarwal to billionaire status. This young entrepreneur’s story exemplifies why he stands on the list of the youngest self-made billionaires.

8.    Ben Francis

  • Net Worth: $1.3 billion
  • Industry: Fitness & Sports
  • Company: Gymshark
  • Country: United States of America

Ben Francis, the mastermind behind Gymshark, started young. His journey from garage gym gear to billionaire status is appealing and a sign of strong entrepreneurial skills.

At 19, alongside his friend Lewis Morgan, he launched the fitness apparel and accessories company right out of his parents’ garage. It all began in 2012, a demonstration to his early hustle. 

Fast forward to today, Francis is the CEO, co-founder, and majority owner of Gymshark. This successful venture has propelled him to billionaire status, with a net worth exceeding $1.3 billion as of April 2024. He’s even been recognized by Forbes as one of the world’s youngest self-made billionaires.

But his journey was not a straight line. Francis made smart choices to ensure Gymshark’s growth while keeping control. In 2017, he stepped back from the CEO role to focus on building the brand’s image, allowing a seasoned leader to handle day-to-day operations. However, he returned to the CEO position in 2021, demonstrating his continued dedication to the company’s vision.

Gymshark’s success is further validated by a 2020 deal where a private equity firm purchased a 21% stake, valuing the company at over $1 billion. Notably, Francis maintained significant control, holding a majority ownership exceeding 70% as of 2023. 

Beyond his business achievements, Francis has garnered recognition for his entrepreneurial spirit. He was awarded the prestigious Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in December 2022 and was previously named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2020 and included in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in 2018.

9.    Shunsaku Sagami

  • Net Worth: $1.2 billion
  • Industry: Technology
  • Company: M&A Research Institute
  • Country: Japan

Shunsaku Sagami isn’t your typical billionaire. He’s the founder and CEO of M&A Research Institute Holdings, a Tokyo-based firm that uses AI to play matchmaker – but not for hearts, for businesses.

M&A Research Institute specializes in helping small and mid-size businesses find the perfect buyer. This is particularly helpful for companies whose owners are nearing retirement and lack a family successor.

Here’s how it works: M&A Research Institute leverages a powerful combination – a proprietary database and AI algorithms. This allows them to identify companies without successors and then connect them with potential investors and buyers.

Their approach is a game-changer. M&A Research Institute can close deals in just over six months, significantly faster than the industry average of a year. This efficiency is a major win for both sellers looking to exit and buyers seeking new opportunities.

This innovative strategy propelled M&A Research Institute’s growth. Just three years and nine months after launch, the company made a smashing debut on the Tokyo Stock Exchange Growth Market in June 2022. This successful IPO skyrocketed the value of Sagami’s holdings, making him a billionaire at the impressive age of 32.

10.    Andy Fang

  • Net Worth: $1.2 billion
  • Industry: Food Delivery
  • Company: DoorDash
  • Country: United States of America

Our last of the youngest self-made billionaires is Andy Fang. He is Co-founder and CTO of food delivery giant DoorDash, exemplifies the spirit of young entrepreneurs.

The story of DoorDash is an inspiring tale of a class project turned billion-dollar business. In 2013, Andy Fang, along with his Stanford classmates Stanley Tang, Tony Xu, and Evan Moore, envisioned a better way to get food.

They saw limitations in existing food delivery options and set out to create a platform that directly connected customers with local restaurants. This meant faster, more convenient deliveries – a winning formula.

DoorDash started small, focusing on delivering food in Palo Alto, California, where delivery services were lacking. Their user-friendly app, built with a focus on speed and ease of use, resonated with customers. This success story quickly spread, and DoorDash expanded to other cities and universities across the United States.

The company’s initial public offering (IPO) in December 2020 was a major turning point. Fang, a co-founder with a significant ownership stake, benefitted significantly. Estimates suggest his net worth skyrocketed to around $2.2 billion, propelling him to the esteemed ranks of self-made billionaires.

Even with financial success, Fang remains focused on innovation. He continues to play a key role in developing new features and services to keep DoorDash at the forefront of the food delivery game.

The company faces strong competition from established players like Uber Eats and Grubhub, but with Fang’s leadership and focus on user experience, DoorDash is well-positioned for continued success.

End Note

Here we end with our list of the 10 youngest self-made billionaires in the world. Remember one thing, the list is getting bigger every year. However, there is constant volatility on the self-made billionaires list.

For example, did we miss the name Kylie Jenner? Yes, she was a billionaire in 2019. However, some misleading documents and irregular practices reduced her wealth to $680 million. This is how a couple more billionaires lost their position from the self-made billionaires in the world.

Note: The net worth of these billionaires may vary over time due to various factors. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please refer to the annual Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list

Keep Reading! Keep Growing!

Parag Ahire