The ranking of the richest billionaires who earned their fortune in the internet business is headed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is sitting in first place with a personal net worth of 113 billion U.S. dollars. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was ranked second with 54.7 billion U.S. dollars. Both Bezos and Zuckerberg are also featured in the top 5 ranking of the richest Americans of 2019.
Millions of entrepreneurs are hoping that their company will be the next big thing, and for many startups going public or being acquired by an industry giant are a safe bet to generate riches. The ranking of the richest internet billionaires is dominated by founders and early investors of global online companies including Amazon, Google and Facebook, or startups that were sold to major companies. A popular example of a successful sales is mobile messaging app WhatsApp, which was sold to Facebook in 2014 for an eyewatering 19 billion U.S. dollars, making founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton billionaires in the process.
However, as of 2019, Facebook is no longer a desired acquirer for young tech companies, as the social network is plagued by a series of scandals and many founders of its former acquisitions have spoken out against Facebook. WhatsApp’s and Instagram’s founders left the company, and the Oculus founders were demoted. Many acquired products have also been shut down, making it an unattractive prospect to sell an innovative service to Facebook. Facebook founder Zuckerberg has stated in 2010 that most of his company’s acquisition efforts are for the talent, not for the product.
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Forbes. (March 31, 2020). Leading internet billionaires as of March 2020, by net worth (in billion U.S. dollars) [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved July 06, 2020, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/267581/net-worth-of-the-ten-richest-internet-billionaires/
Forbes. "Leading internet billionaires as of March 2020, by net worth (in billion U.S. dollars)." Chart. March 31, 2020. Statista. Accessed July 06, 2020. https://www.statista.com/statistics/267581/net-worth-of-the-ten-richest-internet-billionaires/
Forbes. (2020). Leading internet billionaires as of March 2020, by net worth (in billion U.S. dollars). Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: July 06, 2020. https://www.statista.com/statistics/267581/net-worth-of-the-ten-richest-internet-billionaires/
Forbes. "Leading Internet Billionaires as of March 2020, by Net worth (in Billion U.S. Dollars)." Statista, Statista Inc., 31 Mar 2020, https://www.statista.com/statistics/267581/net-worth-of-the-ten-richest-internet-billionaires/
Forbes, Leading internet billionaires as of March 2020, by net worth (in billion U.S. dollars) Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/267581/net-worth-of-the-ten-richest-internet-billionaires/ (last visited July 06, 2020)