Canva founders Cliff Obrecht and Melanie Perkins have remained on top of the Financial Review Young Rich List, despite a 29 per cent fall in the value of their graphic design platform over the past two years.
The Top 10 of the Young Rich List, which has tracked the fortunes of Australia’s wealthiest self-made people aged 40 and under since 2003, has been unveiled before the full list of 100 appears in AFR Magazine on Friday.
Canva’s valuation fell from a 2021 high of $55 billion to $39 billion in August, struck when long-time investor Blackbird Ventures sold some of its shares on the secondaries market.
However, Canva’s number of monthly users rose from 100 million to 135 million over that time, and its annualised revenue has risen to $US1.7 billion ($2.7 billion).
And married couple Obrecht and Perkins, who own 30 per cent of Canva, remain almost $10 billion ahead of third-placed Young Rich Lister Ed Craven.
That is despite the stake.com founder’s wealth surging almost 200 per cent over the past year, as it was revealed his Drake-endorsed, crypto-accepting casino had increased gross revenue from $1.8 billion in calendar 2021 to an astonishing $4 billion last year.
However, regulatory risk remains real for Craven and his co-founder, Bijan Tehrani, who will also make the Young Rich List should his application for Australian citizenship be approved. Many of stake.com’s 600,000 regular players are from countries such as Brazil and Japan, where gambling with crypto is not expressly prohibited, and it’s an open secret that many other customers are using the casino illegally through virtual private networks, despite best efforts to screen them out.
The fourth-ranked fortune is built on the more predictable foundation of burritos. Sam Prince started his Mexican food franchise Zambrero in Canberra in 2005. It is now the country’s largest and has more than 250 outlets worldwide.
Valued at about $1 billion by an investment from Europe’s Metric Capital Partners in March, it donates a meal to the needy for every meal it sells – a gesture inspired by the poverty-stricken upbringing of Prince’s mother in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, Airwallex has achieved the rare feat of putting three founders into the Young Rich List top 10 – chief executive Jack Zhang at fifth, chief technology officer Xijing (Jacob) Dai at eighth, and product design chief Max Li at 10th.
Airwallex, whose application programming interface plugs in banks around the world to offer cross-border payments and other services to more than 100,000 business customers, maintained a $US5.5 billion valuation despite its last fundraising occurring amid the tech wreck late last year. A weaker Australian dollar and recovering Nasdaq has only increased our estimated value of the business since.
In sixth is Nick Molnar, the online jewellery seller turned co-founder of Afterpay, the buy now, pay later pioneer which since 2014 has taken advantage of Millennials’ wariness of credit cards, and built a service so ubiquitous that its name became a verb.
However, the $39 billion price tag which Molnar and his co-founder, Anthony Eisen, achieved for Afterpay when it was bought by Jack Dorsey’s payments giant Block in 2021 is looking expensive. Worries about the willingness of retailers to continue paying for the service have halved the price of Block’s Australian-listed CHESS depositary interests.
Debuting at seventh with a $1 billion estimated fortune is Adrian Portelli, the Lamborghini-loving founder of LMCT+. It’s a subscription-based club which uses a loophole in gaming laws that allows raffles, so long as they are “trade promotions” of goods and services. Portelli’s regular giveaways of cars and houses have earned LMCT+ a fanatical following of more than 100,000 members, some paying up to $100 a month for extra chances to win.
At ninth, down from eighth last year, is Robert Chamberlain. He runs Huno Group, a network of travel websites referring more than $1 billion in sales annually to its partners such as airlines and hotels, principally in the US and Europe. Its revenues have recovered in line with the rebound in travel.
The full Young Rich List is published in AFR Magazine on Friday.
Read more Young Rich List
- Airwallex’s Jack Zhang: ‘Going public is optional for us’ It’s under fire over 15-hour days and concerns about its Beijing connections, but the payments company is on a roll.
- A pair of statement heels landed this uni dropout on the Young Rich List Argylica Conditsis’ business started when she couldn’t find bedazzled shoes. This year, she and brother William debut on the list of Australia’s most wealthy under 40.
- His teachers said he’d end up in jail. Now he’s on the Young Rich List Geedup founder Jake Paco has conquered his demons and is taking his cult streetwear brand from western Sydney to New York.
- The 16 new faces on the Young Rich List One made a fortune from glittery statement dresses, another sold up to Sam Bankman-Fried just in time. The newest self-made 40-and-unders are a mixed bag.
- One of the fastest growing categories for Young Rich Listers – vanity Australian beauty brands have pushed out the established labels, from toothpaste to tanning, with a little product innovation and a lot of savvy marketing.
- The green energy multimillionaires taking over the Young Rich List US-based investor and Young Rich List debutant Gregory Green made an estimated $100 million after selling his share of a landfill gas developer.
- This Young Rich Lister loves psychedelics, crypto – and art Prash Puspanathan, an early adopter of cryptocurrency, has commissioned a giant robot for his pool.
- 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 his business is under scrutiny.
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