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The Internet is a billionaire business as Internet entrepreneurs dominated the top of the first ever Forbes list of the richest global tech billionaires.
However, Microsoft’s Bill Gates was the unsurprising leader of the list, while Amazon founder Jeff Bezos saw his personal fortune surge.
The Forbes survey released on Wednesday found US-based tech magnates made up 51 of the 100 richest people in technology.
Meanwhile, the next technological revolution may come from outside of Silicon Valley as 33 of the 100 richest tech entrepreneurs in Forbes list of the richest global tech billionaires hailed from Asia while only 8 from Europe made the list.
China led the way with 20 from mainland and one from Hong Kong, second only to America’s 51. The average age of the world richest tech entrepreneurs is 53, or a decade younger than the average of all billionaires.
Net worth of top 10 richest tech entrepreneurs
The net worth of the 100 people on the list amounted to $842.9 billion, according to the magazine. The minimum net worth to make the top 100 was $2 billion.
The youngest is Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel, who at age 25 is worth an estimated $2.1 billion while the oldest is Intel cofounder Gordon Moore, 86, whose estimated worth is $6 billion.
Forbes said 94 of the tech moguls created their own companies, while three inherited their wealth, and three others inherited fortunes but have expanded them.
Below are top 10 richest tech entrepreneurs out of 100 in Forbes list of the richest global tech billionaires:
#1). Bill Gates | Estimated worth of $79.6 billionBill Gates, who has long been at or near the top of the world’s richest individuals, led the group with an estimated worth of $79.6 billion.
It was reported that Bill Gates’s net worth was particularly boosted by the recent stellar performance of Microsoft, which he cofounded in 1975. He gave a gift of shares worth $1.5 billion to The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in November 2014, which brought his lifetime giving up to $29.5 billion.
While continuing to work on improving U.S. education and global health, the foundation is also committed to getting Africa to feed itself and wants to help spread mobile banking so that the poor can transform their lives.
#2). Larry Ellison | Estimated worth of $54.3 billionSitting at the second place on the list of the top 10 richest tech entrepreneurs in the world is the Oracle founder Larry Ellison at $50 billion.
He founded database software firm, Oracle, after building databases for the CIA in 1977 and has overseen its tremendous growth – revenues in fiscal 2014 grew to $38.3 billion.
Ellison has continued to gobble up properties on the Hawaiian island of Lanai, which he bought for a reported $300 million in 2012, and is said to own every hotel room on the island.
#3). Jeff Bezos | Estimated worth of $47.8 billionThe surprising number three was Jeff Bezos, who saw a gain of some $13 billion in his fortune this year with the rise of Amazon shares, and is now worth $47.8 billion, according to Forbes.
Bezos studied electrical engineering and computer programming at Princeton, then worked for hedge fund D.E. Shaw before founding Amazon in 1994. Despite a rough 2014 marked by the failure of Amazon.com’s first smartphone and continued pressure from investors, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos started 2015 strong.
No longer just an online retailer, the Seattle-based company is responsible for everything from providing servers to host web content to selling diapers and Bezos still owns 18% of Amazon’s shares.
#4). Mark Zuckerberg | Estimated worth of $41.2 billionFacebook cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg occupied the number four position with a net worth of $41.2 billion.
Mark Zuckerberg has led his social network to new heights, even as some younger users have grown tired of it.
Revenue grew 58% in 2014 to $12.5 billion, supported by a jump in mobile ads. Some 1.4 billion people around the globe are on Facebook, and those users are watching 3 billion videos a day on the site.
Its Instagram unit has more than 300 million users, while mobile messaging app WhatsApp, which it purchased for $19 billion in cash and stock in 2014, has 700 million users and is growing.
#5). Larry Page | Estimated worth of $33.4 billionAt the number 5 position is Google cofounder and CEO, Larry Page, whose net worth is estimated to be $33.4 billion. Larry Page runs what is arguably the most influential company of the digital era.
Besides dominating in online search, with a 65% share of the global market, there are now more than a billion active devices using its Android operating system, one for every seven people.
Page oversaw a string of acquisitions in 2014, including programmable home thermostat maker Nest for $3.2 billion and video monitoring outfit Dropcam for $555 million.
In November 2014, Page’s family foundation gave $15 million to aid the fight against Ebola.
#6). Sergey Brin | Estimated worth of $32.8 billionNext on the list is Sergey Brin, Google cofounder, with an estimated worth of $32.8 billion. Sergey Brin runs Google X, the secretive division of the search engine company that focuses on risky projects.
The son of two academics, Brin emigrated to the U.S. from Moscow when he was six. He founded Google with Page in 1998, when they were both computer science Ph.D. students at Stanford University.
Google has 40,000 employees in 40 countries and still dominates online search, with a 65% share of the global market.
Brin is credited for Google products such as smart contact lenses, airborne wind turbines and Google Glass.
#7). Jack Ma | Estimated worth of $23.2 billionAlibaba founder Jack Ma occupied number seven with a worth of $23.2 billion and he is the wealthiest of 10 Chinese billionaires on the list.
Jack Ma was a former English teacher whose e-commerce powerhouse Alibaba Group made record-breaking $25 billion initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014.
His Ant Financial Services Group, is pushing beyond its Alipay online payment business into financial services, including a consumer money market fund and a private bank.
He also has more than a dozen other investments, from a stake in a soccer team to a film production studio. Also, he is an active philanthropist.
#8). Steve Ballmer | Estimated worth of $22.7 billionWith an estimated worth of $22.7 billion, former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer occupied position number eight out of hundred.
Steve Ballmer retired as CEO of Microsoft in February 2014 and didn’t take long to move onto his next job, boss of the Los Angeles Clippers. In August he closed a $2 billion purchase of the team, the highest price ever paid for an NBA squad.
Detroit native, Ballmer dropped out of Stanford M.B.A. program to join Harvard classmate Bill Gates 1980 as employee number 30.
He officially became Microsoft’s largest single shareholder in April 2014, as Gates continued to sell shares as he diversifies his fortune.
#9). Laurene Powell Jobs | Estimated worth of $21.4 billionLaurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was number nine at $21.4 billion. Jobs was the richest of the seven women on the list of 100.
Laurene Powell Jobs is making more of a name for herself as a political and social influencer, more than three years after the death of her husband Steve Jobs.
She is the founder and chair of the Emerson Collective, an organisation that focuses on using entrepreneurship to advance social reform and help under-resourced students.
The Laurene Powell Jobs Trust is the largest individual shareholder in Disney, with a 7.7% slice of the company, a result of Disney using its shares to buy animation studio Pixar, run by Steve Jobs, in 2006. The Disney stake is worth more than $13 billion.
#10). Michael Dell | Estimated worth of $19.4 billionSitting comfortably at number ten position is Michael Dell with a worth of $19.4 billion. Mr Dell is the founder of Dell Computer, one of the world’s famous computer companies.
Michael Dell says his computer company is thriving since he took it private in October 2013. The business no longer has to disclose its financials, but Dell claims it is growing faster than its rivals Oracle, IBM, Cisco and Hewlett-Packard.
Michael Dell founded the eponymous company in his Texas dorm room with $1,000 in 1984 when he was 19. Four years later, it went public with a market capitalisation of $85 million. By the time Dell took it private again in 2013, the company was worth $25 billion and he still holds a 70% stake in the company.
Dell and his wife started the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation in 1999 and have since given away more than $1 billion, putting most of their money toward promoting education in the United States, South Africa and India.