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Who are the richest Internet entrepreneurs of all time?The Internet has made a lot of insanely smart/lucky/dedicated people, insanely wealthy. Since the dawn of the web, anyone with the right idea and a willingness to work hard has been able create a massive personal fortune.
Billion dollar companies have been born and built out of bedrooms, dorm rooms, cars, garages and pretty much every location imaginable. Internet entrepreneurs have come up with digital solutions for services in nearly every single brick-and-mortar industry.
Whether it’s new and innovative ways for people to connect with friends, share content, find results or market products, the richest Internet entrepreneurs have profited hugely from connecting consumers to the World Wide Web. These geeks have literally revolutionised the way business is carried out around the globe, or have changed the way we interact with each other on a daily basis.
In the process, the richest Internet entrepreneurs have earned billions of dollars, and the powers they wield socially, politically, and economically are astonishing.
Net Worth, $1 Billion
What do you get for being the founder of Netscape, Silicon Graphics and several other high profile internet companies? A billion dollar net worth and a wife who is 36 years younger and a former Victoria's Secret model. That's exactly the life that Jim Clark gets to live every day as the 30th richest internet entrepreneur in the world with wife Kristy Hinze.
Net Worth, $1 Billion
Russian venture capitalist Yuri Milner is the 29th richest internet entrepreneur with a net worth of $1 billion. Milner has successfully invested in dozens of companies, the two biggest being Facebook and Mail.ru.
Net Worth, $1.15 Billion
Jerry Yang co-founded the search engine Yahoo! with David Filo while both were students at Stanford. The company went public and the two became instant billionaires. At the peak of Yahoo's stock price, both Yang and Filo were worth well over $10 billion. Today, Yahoo has lost ground and value to Google, leaving the founders with just over a billion dollars in net worth each.
Net Worth, $1.2 Billion
As mentioned in the previous slide, David Filo co-founded Yahoo. In January 2000, when Yahoo's market cap reached its all time peak of $150 billion, David Filo was worth over $10 billion. Today he is worth $1.2 billion which is nothing to sneeze at, but still must be frustrating.
Net Worth, $1.4 Billion
After graduating from Princeton and Harvard, Meg Whitman went on to work for Disney, Procter & Gamble and Hasbro Toys. But it was Meg's service as CEO of eBay for 10 years that catapulted her to billionaire status. At the time she joined eBay, they had just 30 employees and less than $4 million in annual sales. When she left the company they had over 15,000 employees and $8 billion in revenue. Whitman had an unsuccesful run for California Governor and is now the CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
Net Worth, $1.5 Billion
You may have never heard of Bob Parsons but I promise you've seen commercials for his company GoDaddy.com. GoDaddy is still a private company so it's difficult to peg his exact net worth but based on a few recent buyout offers, Parsons is easily worth $1.5 billion making him the 25th richest internet entrepreneur of all time.
Net Worth, $1.5 Billion
When AOL's market cap peaked at $222 billion in December 1999, co-founder and CEO Steve Case's net worth was north of $40 billion! Unfortunately the stock has crashed since then to a market cap of just $2.5 billion. Steve Case still maintained a respectable $1.5 billion net worth.
Net Worth, $1.8 Billion
While most American's have probably never heard of Zhang Zhidong, the site he co-founded Tencent is literally one of the 10 biggest websites in the WORLD. Tencent is the largest web portal in mainland China offering instant messenger services, games, digital payment, e-commerce and much more. Zhang Zhidong has a personal net worth of $1.8 billion and his company has a market cap of $47 billion making it one of the biggest in China.
Net Worth, $1 Billion
As the founder and CEO of Zynga (makers of Mafia Wars, Farmville etc..), Mark Pincus would have easily had a respectable net worth. But thanks to a shrewd early investment in Facebook, Pincus is a billionaire. Pincus bought a 0.5% stake in Facebook for $400k which went on to be worth as much as $425 million after going public!
Net Worth, $1.9 Billion
Reid Hoffman is similar to Mark Pincus in that he is the CEO of his own publicly traded company LinkedIn and he made a brilliant $50,000 early investment in Facebook that would go on to be worth north of $500 million. His LinkedIn shares are worth another $1.4 billion, making his total net worth $1.9 billion!
Net Worth, $2 Billion
Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, made famous in The Social Network for being cut out of the company and suing Mark Zuckerberg, was eventually able to score a healthy amount of equity before the IPO. Eduardo Saverin's shares are worth $2 billion today. In order to avoid paying taxes, he recently applied to withdraw his US citizenship.
Net Worth, $2 Billion
Marc Benioff started his cloud computing company Salesforce.com in 1999 with no money in a tiny office space. Today the company has over 8000 employees and in 2012, brought in $2.1 billion in revenues. Marc Benioff has earned a personal net worth of $2 billion in the process!
Net Worth, $2.1 Billion
You know him as the fast talking wildcard who partnered up with Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, as portrayed by Justin Timberlake. Parker ended up leaving Facebook after getting arrested but he walked away with 4% of the company that is worth $2.1 billion today!
Net Worth, $2.5 Billion
Mark Cuban became a billionaire when he sold his company Broadcast.com to Yahoo, at the absolute peak of the dotcom bubble, for $5.9 billion. Even more brilliantly, Cuban sold 100% of his Yahoo stock as soon as he was allowed, netting him $2.5 billion in cash. This move was brilliant because after the bubble burst, Yahoo's stock dropped from $108 a share to less than $5 a share. With his cash, Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks and a $40 million Gulfstream V... on the same day....with a credit card!
Net Worth, $2.7 Billion
Jack Ma is the founder and CEO of Alibaba group, one of China's largest internet companies. Alibaba.com is China's largest B2B e-commerce site with over 80 million registered users as of 2012. Jack Ma has a personal net worth of $2.7 billion.
Net Worth, $2.8 Billion
William Ding, AKA Ding Lei, is the founder and CEO of NetEase, which owns 163.com, one of the 25 largest websites in the world with revenues of nearly $8 billion a year. At one point Ding was the richest person in China but his net worth has dropped since then to a still respectable $2.8 billion.
Net Worth, $2.9 Billion
Through his company Blue Media LLC, Eric Lefkofsky gave Groupon.com a very early $1 million investment. That $1 million turned Groupon into an $8 billion company and gave Eric Lefkofsky a net worth of $2.9 billion!
Net Worth, $3.7 Billion
You probably didn't realise that Charles Schwab, the investment guru, is also one of the biggest and most successful internet entrepreneurs of all time. Schwab.com revolutionised online investing and is now one of the largest financial services websites in the world. Charles is worth $3.7 billion making him the 13th richest internet entrepreneurs.
Net Worth, $4.5 Billion
Xavier Niel's company Iliad is the largest Internet Service Provider in France. Xavier Niel owns 64% of the company. He has also invested in over 100 startups around the world making him one of the most active Venture Capitalists in the world. Interestingly, Xavier Niel also owns 50% of French newspaper Le Monde and 50% of Frank Sinatra's song 'My Way'. His net worth is $4.5 billion.
Net Worth, $4.7 Billion
Ma Huateng co-founded Tencent.com with the #23 person on our list Zhang Zhidong. Tencent is one of the largest internet companies in the world thanks to its dominance in mainland China. Tencent started as an instant message service then expanded into social networking, e-commerce and online games. In terms of market cap, Tencent was once the third largest web businesses in the world, after Amazon and Google. Ma Huateng has a net worth of $4.7 billion.
Net Worth, $5.1 Billion
Dustin Moskovitz was lucky enough to be assigned Mark Zuckerberg as his Freshman year roommate at Harvard. Dustin was one of Facebook's first developers and made the trek out to California with Mark in the very early days. For his service, Dustin received 7.6% of Facebook which is worth $5.1 billion today making him the youngest billionaire in the US.
Net Worth, $6.2 Billion
Hiroshi Mikitani is the CEO of one of Japan's largest e-commerce companies, Rakuten. Rakurten is one of the 10 largest internet companies in the world with annual revenues of $5 billion. Hiroshi Mikitani's personal net worth is $6.2 billion making him the 9th richest internet entrepreneur of all time.
Net Worth, $6.7 Billion
The legend is that Pierre Omidyar created eBay to help his girlfriend sell her collection of Pez candy dispensers. 17 years later and eBay has a market cap of $56 billion and Pierre Omidyar has a net worth of $6.7 billion! Omidyar has long since retired and has pledged to give 90% of his money to charity before he dies! Pierre Omidyar is the richest person in Hawaii and lives in a stunning mansion in Honolulu.
Net Worth, $6.9 Billion
Eric Schmidt is the former CEO and current executive chairman of Google. Eric Schmidt was hired by the Google founders to help them navigate as a multi-billion dollar public company. For his service, Schmidt was rewarded handsomely with stock options worth $6.9 billion.
Net Worth, $7.2 Billion
Masayoshi Son is the richest person in Japan with a net worth of $7.2 billion, but he also holds the achievement of losing the most money in history after losing $70 billion in the dotcom crash of 2000. Masayoshi Son is the founder and CEO of Softbank, a Japanese conglomerate that dominates broadband internet, e-commerce, finance and more.
Net Worth, $10.2 Billion
Robin Li is the co-founder, chairman and CEO of China's largest search engine Baidu. Baidu is the largest website in China and the fifth largest website in the world. Robin Li is the fifth richest internet entrepreneur of all time with a net worth of $10.2 billion.
Net Worth, $14.2 Billion
Mark Zuckerberg, have you heard of him? As of June 18th, 2012, his 28.4% stake in Facebook is worth $14.2 billion which makes him the fourth richest internet entrepreneur of all time and the second youngest billionaire in the U.S. behind his Harvard buddy Dustin Moskovitz.
Net Worth, $17.4 Billion
Sergey Brin co-founded Google as a Stanford graduate student with classmate Larry Page in 1998. Today Google is a $190 billion company with $40 billion in annual revenues and over 33,000 employees. Sergey Brin is worth $17.4 billion making him the third richest internet entrepreneur in the world.
Net Worth, $17.5 Billion
As we mentioned in the previous slide, Larry Page is a co-founder of Google and the company's current CEO. Larry Page is worth roughly $100 million more than Sergey thanks largely to family investments. Before even creating Google, Larry's older brother had already sold a company for $400 million. Larry replaced Eric Schmidt as CEO in 2011.
Net Worth, $20.2 Billion
Jeff Bezos is the richest internet entrepreneur in the world with a net worth of $20.2 billion! Jeff Bezos is CEO and founder of Amazon.com, the largest e-commerce company in the world. Bezos owns 20% of the monster corporation. His net worth jumped over 50% in 2011 thanks to Amazon's incredible growth. Will Amazon continue to dominate in the future? Will Bezos stay in the #1 spot? Will someone we've never heard of take the throne in a few years?