Three trends from this year’s record-breaking Young Rich List

Jessica Sepel and Dean Steingold

JSHealth founder Jessica Sepel and chief executive Dean Steingold. Source: Supplied.

From selling vitamins and burritos to trading cryptocurrencies and building some of Australia’s largest tech companies, the entrepreneurs featured on this year’s Young Rich List are embracing technology and appealing to digital savvy consumers to build their fortunes. 

Released on Friday morning, this year’s Australian Financial Review‘s Young Rich List features 87 wealthy Australians under the age of 40, many of whom have founded their own businesses. 

While some household names like Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar are no longer on the list due to their age, the list offers a snapshot of where and how some of Australia’s brightest entrepreneurs are making their millions.

Here are three key trends to emerge from this year’s Young Rich List

Tech remains king

It is no surprise to see technology entrepreneurs once again dominate the Young Rich List, given the stratesophic rise of the likes of Canva, Afterpay and Airwallex.

Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht lead this year’s list, with a combined estimated fortune of $16.5 billion, while Afterpay co-founder Nick Molnar is in third place on the list with an estimated wealth of $2.78 billion. Three of Airwallex’s founders made the list: Jack Zhang (15), Max Li (31) and Jacob Dai (33).

More than half of the entrants on this year’s list have made their fortune from software, with the top 10 spots featuring five technology entrepreneurs.  The next most common industry represented on the list is e-commerce.  

Of the 26 debutants on the list, seven have found success in crypto, including Synthetix founder Kain Warwick, whose estimated wealth of $879 million earned him seventh position. Synthetix is a derivatives trading protocol for crypto traders. 

Wellness on the rise

A clear trend from this year’s list is the emergence of entrepreneurs finding success in the health, fitness and wellness arenas. 

Jessica Sepel’s rapidly growing JSHealth Vitamins empire has earned her the 24th position on the list, thanks to an estimated $426 million fortune which is shares with business partner and husband Dean Steingold, while health and fitness entrepreneurs Tammy Hembrow and Stephanie Miller (known by Instagram handle Steph Claire Smith) are also now among the country’s wealthiest young people. 

The list features 11 entrepreneurs from the health and wellness space, with a combined estimated wealth of $1.2 billion. Eight of these entrepreneurs are women, which has helped boost the total number of women on the list from 12 in 2020 to 15 this year.

Record-breaking wealth

This year’s listees have a combined wealth of $41.3 billion, which is $100 million more than the last record-breaking year in 2019.

The COVID-19 pandemic has no doubt played some part in this, as entire industries were forced to make better use of technology products while their employees worked from home, and millions of Australians in lockdown looked to online programs for health and fitness inspiration. 

This year also features six billionaires, which is three more than have ever been on the Young Rich List. 

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