AFR Rich List: Tech innovators behind Blackmagic Designs and Rode climb the ranks as tech sell-off hits Afterpay duo

Afterpay tech

Afterpay co-founders Nick Molnar and Anthony Eisen. Source: supplied.

The great tech sell-off of 2022 has wiped more than $2 billion from the combined net worth of Afterpay duo Nick Molnar and Anthony Eisen, according to the latest Australian Financial Review Rich List.

At the same time, the continual demand for pandemic-ready software, and a massive demand for at-home audiovisual gear, has entrenched other Australian tech wizards on the list.

The paper’s annual ranking of Australia’s highest-net worth individuals arrived Friday, providing a glimpse into the enchanted lives of resource magnates, property developers, and the occasional entrepreneur whose big idea found a mainstream audience.

Unsurprisingly, Gina Rinehart, executive chairman of Hancock Prospecting, retained top billing, after the surging price of iron ore drove her fortune to $34.02 billion.

It was a similar story for Andrew Forrest, who came in second with a fortune estimated to be in the vicinity of $30.72 billion.

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes notched third place on the Rich List, having grown his net worth to $27.83 billion — an estimated uptick of 37.9% year-on-year, as businesses continued to adopt the company’s workflow solutions.

Co-founder Scott Farquhar came in at number four, with a fortune estimated to be a $26.41 billion.

Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, the Canva-creating duo whose names graced The Australian’s Richest 250 list in March, landed at a joint eighth place on the Fin’s ranking.

While it’s no small feat being recognised as one of Australia’s richest pairings ($13.82 billion combined, for those playing along at home), their combined wealth has dropped considerably from the $16.5 billion figure put forward by the Fin‘s Young Rich List in 2021, another symbol of the savage sell-off plaguing tech stocks.

Those woes are typified by Molnar and Eisen, whose fortunes of $1.52 billion each are thought to have tumbled by 43% over the year.

That can be attributed to growth-oriented investors turning away from new parent company Block in recent months, as fears of US rate hikes and inflationary pressures turn antsy investors away from companies tied to consumer spending.

At the same time, new opportunities for tech products yielded fresh fortunes.

Blackmagic Designs founder Grant Petty more than doubled his fortune to $1.38 billion, after home streamers and broadcasters turned to the company’s pro-level audiovisual products.

And Peter Freedman, founder of the Rode microphone enterprise, entered the list with an estimated net worth north of $700 million — in no small part to the proliferation of podcasting tech worldwide.

You can find the full list here.


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