Just a few years ago, four of the world’s top five youngest billionaires had all inherited their fortunes. Not anymore. Now only one person on our list of youngest billionares can thank an inheritance. The other four all made their billions in the tech industry. The world’s youngest two billionaires, Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy, made their fortunes by creating the temporary image sharing app Snapchat. Two more, Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Mokovitz, founded Facebook together. Only Julio Mario Santo Domingo III didn’t work for his billions, inheriting his money instead from his grandfather’s beer empire.
Another interesting fact about the world’s youngest five billionaires is that the four who are considered self-made all dropped out of school – two from Harvard and two from Stanford.
Net worth: $1.5 billion
Evan Spiegel, the world’s youngest billionaire, founded the photo sharing app Snapchat in 2011 and remains its CEO. The company has reportedly received purchase offers of $19 billion, nearly twice its valuation in 2014.
The media lauded Spiegel for his business sense after some of his emails were made public when Sony Entertainment was attacked by hackers. Spiegel grew up in Pacific Palisades, California and went to school at Stanford where he studied product design. There, he started Snapchat as a school project with fellow students Robert Murphy and Reggie Brown. He and Murphy developed Snapchat as a timed photo sharing service that would delete shared photos after a short time had elapsed. Spiegel and Murphy still each hold an estimated 15% stake in the company. They recently settled out of court with former fellow student Reggie Brown for an undisclosed amount.
Net worth: $1.5 billion
Bobby Murphy started the Snapchat photo sharing app with fellow student Evan Spiegel as a school project at Stanford. Valued at $10 billion in 2014, the company reportedly received offers for almost twice that a year later. Murphy still holds an estimated 15% in the company. Snapchat’s user base is estimated at around 200 million people.
Murphy was studying math and computer science when he met Evan Spiegel in 2010. He grew up in Berkeley and started Snapchat, originally called Picaboo, as a way to help people avoid the embarrassment of sharing images online and then later regretting it. The service lets people share images that then vanish after a short time.
Net Worth: $2.2 billion
New York City disc jockey Julio Mario Santo Domingo III inherited his fortune from his grandfather, Julio Mario Santo Domingo, who sold his Bavaria Brewery beer company in 2005. The younger Julio’s father, Julio Mario II, died in 2009, so young Julio’s grandfather left him one sixth of his estate. The younger Julio now spends most of his time working on his DJ business “Sheik ‘n Beik,” throwing techno music parties in Manhattan. He lives in an apartment in the city worth $4 million.
Julio Mario III also received an inheritance from his father, including 50,000 books, photographs and posters about psychoactive drugs and the world’s largest opium pipe collection. Other billionaire heirs to the beer fortune include Julio’s two uncles Andres and Alejandro and his sister Tatiana.
Net worth: $33.4 billion
Self-made billionaire Mark Zuckerberg famously started the social network giant Facebook in his dorm room at Harvard in 2004. Since then, it has grown to a $200 billion dollar company. While the social network has fallen out of favor in recent years with the younger generation, it still boasts over 1.4 billion users worldwide. It also claims revenue growth of 58% in 2014, taking in $12.5 billion that year. Not content to rest on his laurels, Zuckerberg has increased mobile ad sales on Facebook and purchased other social media companies like the photo sharing site Instagram, which he’s taken to 300 million users. Facebook also bought the messaging app WhatsApp in 2014 for $19 billion. The popular app has 700 million users.
According to Forbes, Zuckerberg bought 700 acres in Hawaii for $100 million. Also an active philanthropist, the young entrepreneur and his wife pledged $75 million for the construction of a new trauma center in San Francisco and $25 million to help fight Ebola.
Net worth: $7.9 billion
Dustin Moskovitz helped start Facebook and was the social network’s third employee. Like Zuckerberg, he dropped out of school to work on the new company. In 2008 he left Facebook to start the software firm Asana, which makes online productivity software and apps. Moskovitz and wife Cari Tuna have donated millions of dollars to various charities through their philanthropic foundation Good Ventures.
Moskovitz reportedly flies on commercial airlines instead of in a corporate jet and bikes to work. He attends the Burning Man music festival each year. He has said the movie “The Social Network” focused on things that didn’t matter at the time, like the involvement of the Winklevoss brothers, and ignored things that did, like the contributions of supportive family and friends.
The World’s Youngest Billionaires 2015 – Forbes.com