- Tech billionaires have been known to make extravagant purchases from time to time.
- Amazon founder Jeff Bezos spent $US65 million dollars on an eight-seater private jet, while Elon Musk splurged on the submarine car from the James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me.”
- Check out 23 of the most outrageous purchases made by tech billionaires.
The richest people in tech are some of the world’s biggest billionaires – and have plenty of money to spare for extravagant purchases.
Big splurges include impressive forms of transportation, from superyachts and private jets to custom car collections. Real-estate portfolios are made up of elaborate homes for those based in Silicon Valley, along with private ranches and island getaways. Additionally, atypical indulgences range from Michael Dell’s rare photo collection to Sergey Brin’s private trapeze lessons.
Keep reading for a look at some of tech billionaires’ most outrageous indulgences.
The richest person in the world, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, spent $US65 million on a private jet.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, officially named the richest person in the world earlier this year, spent $US65 million on a Gulfstream G650ER – a private jet that seats eight people. Last year, the jet made many flights to Washington, DC, which ended up being a clue to the new Amazon headquarters.
Meanwhile, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk spent $US70 million on his private aircraft.
Like many tech billionaires, Musk has also indulged in properties to build an impressive real-estate portfolio.
One of Elon Musk’s residences – a $US17 million Bel Air estate – includes a two-story library and a 1,000-bottle wine cellar. Other tech billionaires are also known for their impressive housing collections, including Michael Dell’s “Castle” in Texas and Bill Gates’s Xanadu 2.0 in Medina, Washington.
While Musk is known for typically driving one of his company’s more affordable cars, he did splurge on a submarine car that appeared in a James Bond movie.
Elon Musk spent close to $US100,000 at a London auction to purchase the 1976 Lotus Esprit. The submarine car appeared in the 1977 James Bond movie “The Spy Who Loved Me.” In addition to this purchase, Musk also owns a Ford Model T and other vehicles.
Fellow tech billionaire Larry Ellison’s planes are more abnormal: two military fighter jets.
Oracle founder Larry Ellison owns both a decommissioned Soviet MiG-29 and an Italian air force SIAI-Marchetti S.211.
Ellison is known for other extravagant purchases. He also owns a yacht-racing team — not to mention several of his own yachts.
Larry Ellison’s current yacht is named Musashi, and is 288 feet long. He previously owned a much larger, 454-foot yacht named Rising Sun. Ellison reportedly sold the vessel for $US300 million.
Additionally, Ellison owns one of the Hawaiian islands.
Microsoft’s Bill Gates also owns a private jet, a purchase he has referred to as his “big splurge.”
Unlike Jeff Bezos’ jet, which only seats eight, Bill Gates’$US40 million plane reportedly seats 19 passengers.
Bill Gates also collects luxury sports cars.
Bill Gates’ sports car collection, worth an estimated $US650,000, includes a Jaguar XJ6 and a Ferrari 348. It also includes several Porsches – a Porsche 911, a Porsche Carrera Cabriolet 964, and a 1988 Porsche 959 Coupe.
Gates also contributed to the $US161 million purchase of the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco.
The Microsoft CEO purchased the property in 2013 along with “several unnamed buyers.”
Michael Dell, founder of Dell Technologies, and Rob Walton co-own a luxury hotel — the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Hawaii.
Purchased by Michael Dell and Walmart billionaire Rob Walton in 2006, the resort ranked No. 1 on US News & World Report’s annual list of top hotels in the United States this year. The resort boasts seven swimming pools, luxury oceanfront villas that rent for $US18,000 a night, and an impressive art collection. Dell also owns a Four Seasons penthouse in Boston in addition to his Austin home, known as “The Castle.”
In addition to real estate, Dell spent $US100 million on a private collection of photographs.
Through his holding company MSD, Dell purchased an archive of 185,000 rare and vintage photos. The purchase remains “one of the largest photography transactions in history.” He has since loaned the photos to the University of Texas at Austin.
Gates, meanwhile, spent $US36 million on a Winslow Homer painting and $US30 million on a Leonardo da Vinci manuscript.
Both historic items are kept in Gates’ Washington mansion, which is known as Xanadu 2.0. Gates purchased the Homer painting back in 1988, and bought the da Vinci manuscript six years later. Dating back to the 16th century, the valuable artefact is kept in his mansion’s 2,100-square-foot library.
Mogul Richard Branson famously owns Necker Island, a purchase he made back in 1978.
Purchased for just $US180,000, the British Virgin Island location’s worth was estimated to be $US60 million in 2006. Branson has also indulged in several expensive island toys – including a catamaran called the Necker Belle and a mini-submarine called the Necker Nymph – which he rents to guests staying at the resort. For this reason, Branson’s indulgences are more often considered investments.
Jeff Bezos also spent three weeks on a submarine to collect Apollo artifacts.
In 2013, the Amazon founder spent three weeks aboard a submarine. The excursion successfully collected the booster rockets from the Apollo 11 mission.
Google cofounder Larry Page owns a $US7.2 million home that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Old Palo Alto home was built for artist Pedro de Lemos. Construction took place over a decade from 1931 to 1941. Page also owns the surrounding properties, contributing to an impressive estate.
Both Page and fellow cofounder Sergey Brin own superyachts.
Superyachts are a popular indulgence for billionaires, and both Google cofounders splurged for their own vessel. Brin owns an $US80 million yacht called Dragonfly, which was used for the pair’s Fiji vacation in 2012. Page, meanwhile, owns a six-deck vessel that comes with five waverunners.
The billionaires also share a private jet — and a private airport.
The cofounders purchased a Boeing 767-200 that seats 50 people in 2005. Additionally, Google started construction on a private airport in 2014 for an estimated $US82 million.
Brin also reportedly spends money on private trapeze lessons.
Advanced trapeze lessons at New York City’s Circus Warehouse – where Brin has been spotted – cost $US1,760 per month.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg owns a $US1.3 million sports car in addition to his practical vehicles.
Alongside Gates, Zuckerberg has been seen driving practical vehicles such as a Honda Fit and Volkswagen GTI – both of which cost around $US30,000. However, there is one luxury vehicle amongst these affordable cars: an Italian Pagani Huayra sports car, worth about $US1.3 million.
Zuckerberg also spent $US100 million on a former sugarcane plantation and a white-sand beach.
Zuckerberg bought a plantation and white-sand beach in 2014. Both properties, the Kahua’aina Plantation and Pila’a Beach, are located on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The two make up a combined 750 acres of island property that includes both farmland and beaches.
Tech billionaires also spend money on vacations, like the yearlong trip taken by former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
After selling his first company Red Swoosh, Kalanick took a year off in 2007 for a trip around the world, with destinations including Japan, Iceland, and Senegal. After leaving Uber amid scandals in 2017, Kalanick sailed around Tahiti in a $US70 million sailing vessel.
WeWork founder Adam Neumann has an impressive real estate portfolio, including a $US21 million home with a guitar-shaped room.
Like other tech billionaires before him, Neumann has amassed plenty of properties. These real estate purchases include a San Francisco home with a guitar-shaped room, a 60-acre farm estate in upstate New York, a Hamptons mansion, and a $US10.5 million Greenwich Village townhouse.