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AFR Magazine

Lambo-loving Young Rich lister is a ‘shy person’

Known for his attention-seeking stunts and love of sports cars, Adrian Portelli has rocketed into the Young Rich List. But the self-proclaimed shy guy is looking for someone else to take his business for a spin.

Humble and shy. That’s the self-assessment of debutant Young Rich Lister Adrian Portelli, who made international headlines in May by craning his $3 million supercar into the loungeroom of his $39 million Melbourne penthouse.

The 34-year-old Australian entrepreneur first grabbed the spotlight late last year when he turned up to the finale of Channel Nine’s The Block driving a bright yellow Lamborghini and bidding $5.5 million for the winning house. (He was outbid, but then paid $4.25 million cash for the runner-up’s house.) And yet, he insists he’s an introvert.

Adrian Portelli is one of the debutants on this year’s Young Rich List. Kristoffer Paulsen

“I’m a very shy person, believe it or not,” says the founder of LMCT+, an online club offering shopping discounts and regular giveaways of cars and houses (including that Block house) to its paying subscribers.

After advisers were tapped last financial year to prepare LMCT+ for sale, it was revealed in May by The Australian Financial Review that the club’s revenue was more than $70 million a year. Some 100,000 members pay between $20 and $100 a month to access discounts from its partners, and entries to giveaways, which last week included a black GTS Coupe.

The paper value of LMCT+, which Portelli started in 2018, is the main source of his wealth. Add in large collections of sports cars and properties, and his estimated valuation is $1 billion, which puts him in seventh spot on the Financial Review Young Rich List, published in AFR Magazine this Friday.

“I live a very basic life. I’m just into cars,” he insists.

Regulatory risk

Portelli’s life is, in fact, not without its complications. The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has confirmed LMCT+ is under “ongoing investigation” following “multiple complaints” from the public.

Portelli is not alone as a Young Rich Lister facing regulatory scrutiny. Ed Craven (third, with $3.1 billion) runs cryptocurrency casino, which relies heavily on markets such as Brazil and Japan where gambling with crypto is yet to be expressly prohibited.


The VGCCC would not reveal the nature of the complaints against LMCT+. A spokesman for Portelli said the regulator’s investigation is “routine information gathering of the type we have welcomed for the past five years”.

Rebecca Wood, a lawyer at digital firm LegalVision, doubts the regulator will find LMCT+ is breaking existing gaming laws.

Young Rich Lister Ed Craven’s relies on markets where gambling with crypto is possible. Eamon Gallagher

Nobody is pretending LMCT+’s regular draws to win cars and houses are not a major reason people subscribe. However, Portelli and his lawyers structured the business to comply with a loophole in the gaming laws of every Australian state, allowing those games of chance to be classed as “trade promotions” for the provision of goods or services.

“It’s certainly a question as to whether the service LMCT+ provides [which is access to discounts from other service providers] is a valid service in itself, but you must remember that trade promotions are heavily regulated,” says Wood, an expert in setting up trade promotions who reckons inquiries have trebled since Portelli’s success went overground last year.

“In most states you need a permit every time you run a trade promotion, so they wouldn’t be getting away with it if they weren’t complying.”

Portelli says: “You can’t be as public as I am and not have everything in order.”

Furniture removal

The complaints about LMCT+ could relate to the prizes it gives away. The couple who won that Block house in an LMCT+ giveaway this year have been in a stoush with Portelli after the entrepreneur and his entourage were captured on CCTV removing wine, a robomower and other items before the prizewinners moved in. Portelli insists he was allowed to remove the items under the regulator-approved terms and conditions of the giveaway.

“No matter what you do, someone’s going to say something negative. First it was I couldn’t afford [The Block house], now it’s other wild accusations,” he says. “I’m just here to do my thing, live my own life, and I don’t project on anyone else’s life.”


The son of Maltese immigrants, Portelli worked in his father’s truck repair business and quickly decided he wasn’t a fan of manual labour. He wanted exotic cars, houses, a beautiful partner, and “was inspired to live that dream”.

There was a short-lived chauffeur service during a foray to the US when he was 25. Portelli then ran several ride-hailing cars when Uber first arrived in LA. Next was a digital concierge service linking high-net-worth individuals with luxury cars, yachts and private jets – or trying to. He went to Chandigarh in India in search of tech developers to improve the product, but the business petered out.

“I came back to Australia and we created a geolocated dating-social media platform [Checkmates] and that evolved into a food app [Ticker] using the same sort of geolocation-type software,” he says. “That was time-based coupons for restaurants and cafes and bars. And then I took the key features out of Checkmates and Ticker and evolved that into LMCT+.”

The name of this new business, founded in 2018, came from the abbreviation for “licensed motor car trader”. It was a platform to buy and sell cars, then gained an auction function, then member discounts on products and services. What it didn’t gain, at least initially, is many customers.

‘I just had to suck it up’

A promotion involving a high-performance Nissan GT-R coupe drew the ire of government officials, since Portelli had no permit to run a raffle, but the idea unlocked the trade promotions formula LMCT+ uses today.

“The first few years of the business, I was very, very private. My social media was all on private, never really posted much,” he says. “Then I made an advert with my face on it, and people really opened up. They were drawn towards having a face behind the brand, and I just had to suck it up.”

Portelli’s confidence in himself as a brand has grown to the point where he’s willing to walk into other regulatory lions’ dens. Apart from an expansion of LMCT+ into home furnishings, and separate energy drink and bikini lines, Portelli reveals he is developing childcare centres as well as projects that will plug into the National Disability Insurance Scheme, such as a “mini hospital” in western Sydney.

Yet for a dose of humility, Portelli says he only needs remind himself of the six years before LMCT+ took off, when he lived mostly with his parents and worked around the clock for no profit.

“I’m always humble because where I got to wasn’t easy ... Every day, I’d just wake up with the thought of being successful. I was just consumed by it,” he says. “I was just a bit of a loner, mate, and used to motivate myself and just keep pushing.”


Having nabbed the Lamborghini Murcielago SV he had on his bedroom wall as a child, Portelli now concentrates on other rare, limited-edition models, though insists he’s lost track of the number he owns (“less than 50”, he eventually ventures).

When he spoke to the Financial Review, Portelli was dashing to Europe to pick up a rare McLaren P1 “hypercar” for which he’d paid $2.5 million. There are extravagant watches and homes aplenty too, yet it seems happiness remains elusive.

“Some people say the key to happiness is to be content. I’m not content at all,” Portelli says. “And I’m very grateful for that. Because if I was happy, I’d have taken the foot off the pedal a long time ago.”

The Young Rich issue of AFR Magazine is out this Friday.

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Tony Davis
Tony DavisMotoring writerTony Davis writes on lifestyle specialising in cars. Email Tony at
Michael Bailey
Michael BaileyRich List co-editorMichael Bailey writes on entrepreneurship and the arts. He is also responsible for the Financial Review's Rich Lists. He is based in Sydney. Connect with Michael on Twitter. Email Michael at

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