The AFR 2019 Richlist is out so we take a look at which tech founders are making moves.
The usual suspects Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes of Atlassiancontinue to ascend closer to the top, now sitting 5th and 6th with fortunes amounting to $9.75B and $9.63B respectively.
When they listed on the NASDAQ back in December 2015 the company’s share price of $21 US dollars had them valued at an impressive $6.1B AUD however in just 3.5 years the share price has reached $122 US dollars a share now pushing their valuation close to $42B AUD!!! Not bad for a couple of guys from down under! They of course didn’t achieve this by themselves, they now employee close to 3000 people globally and continue to scale.
Next up at No 20 Richard White of Wisetech Global with $3.31B. The shipping software is used globally and their product speaks for itself with an annual customer attrition rate of less than 1%!!! That maybe a contributing factor in the share price rise along with their acquisition spree of late seeing the company value increase from $2B just 2 years ago to $7.8B today.
We have to go past a lot of miners, property, retail and manufacturing moguls to reach Tim Kentley-Klay at No.86. The co-founder of Zoox the autonomous vehicle startup, whilst Australian grew the company out of California to over 700 staff. Last August he was sacked from his role as CEO of Zoox but still retains 25% ownership. What’s next for Tim? Can he be tempted back to Australia?
The last tech representation in the top 100 is Cyan and Collis Ta’eed (94) founders of Envato, a marketplace for digital assets based in Melbourne. They have successfully grown the company to over 400 staff and last October declared at $57 million dividend for shareholders. Current and former employees benefited too from the $13m profit share scheme — if you like the sound of that check out this article on employee share options.
Notable mentions just outside of the top 100 are Christian Beck (101) founder of LEAP Dev an innovative software development company in the legal tech industry. Also Patrick Grove (105) a serial entrepreneur educated in Australia before starting Catcha Group one of Asia’s highest-profile dotcoms. Patrick has also co-founded video on demand service iFlix as well as iProperty Group and iCar Asia.
But is success measured by personal wealth?
No. I doubt any of them set out to become billionaires, they set out to solve a problem and built great companies with talented people in the process, the money was just a by-product of that.
So what will this list look like in 5 or 10 years time? Will the mining, property and manufacturing moguls still reign or will tech entrepreneurs rise up the rankings?