- Austin Russell is the youngest self-made billionaire in Forbes’ 2021 global billionaire list.
- Now 26 years old, he runs a company that provides technology for self-driving cars.
- Russell replaced Kylie Jenner, who was removed from office in 2020.
- Check out more stories on Insider’s business page.
Austin Russell, 26, is the youngest self-made billionaire on the Forbes Global Annual Rich List released on Tuesday.
When Russell’s company, Luminar Technologies, was listed on the Nasdaq through a stock exchange, Russell became a billionaire almost overnight.
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Russell received a $100,000 scholarship from billionaire investor Peter Thiel in 2012 and withdrew from Stanford University to create Luminar Technologies, which makes sensors for self-driving cars.
The company’s sensors have been used in self-driving cars of companies such as Volvo and Toyota. Luminar’s technology relies on lidar, which uses light pulses to create a 3D map of the car’s environment to determine the best route and avoid obstacles.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk “eliminated” this technology in 2019. Tesla no longer uses lidar (lidar has become popular among auto companies including Alphabet’s Waymo), and instead relies on external cameras to provide “self-driving” software.
After Forbes’ removal in May last year, Russell replaced Kylie Jenner, who said her net worth was overvalued in the documents she provided.
She wrote in a tweet to Forbes’ decision: “I even woke up.” “I think this is a reputable website. All I see are inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions.
Jenner is one of the wealthiest self-made women in the United States and appeared on the cover of Forbes magazine in 2018. When someone questioned whether she was truly “self-reliant” because of her family wealth, this aroused strong opposition.
Russell is one of the four self-made billionaires under the age of 20 on the Forbes 2021 list; the others are DoorDash, founders of Andy Fang and Stanley Tang, and cryptocurrency investor Sam Bankman-Fried . These four are new additions to the list.
As COVID-19 shakes up the economy, several developments have appeared on this year’s list. Former President Donald Trump dropped 298 places in the Forbes ranking. Bloomberg estimates that Trump’s net asset value plummeted by $700 million during his presidency.
The youngest billionaire on the Forbes rich list is 18-year-old Kevin David Lehmann (Kevin David Lehmann), he is the heir to a German pharmacy and has a net worth of $3.3 billion.
Read the complete list on the Forbes website.