Chamath Palihapitiya Net Worth : SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, list on the stock exchange with no business operations and use the proceeds to buy private enterprises.
According to SPACInsider, 248 SPAC IPOs raised a total of $83 billion in 2020, roughly doubling the total funds earned by SPACs over the previous ten years combined.
And the first three months of 2021 have already surpassed that number, with roughly 300 SPAC IPOs raising $97 billion.
Over the last year, ten new billionaires were produced by these blank-check firms, which are often backed by financial dealmakers and fueled by hedge fund funds.
The SPAC Frenzy minted Chamath Palihapitiya and nine other new billionaires.
Taking a firm public has long been regarded as a mark of success for an entrepreneur, and Wall Street’s favourite craze of the past 12 months has aided several creators in reaping the financial benefits of an IPO while enduring a fraction of the bureaucratic red tape.
SPAC IPOs are attractive because they are typically easy victories for sponsors, hedge funds, and entrepreneurs, often at the expense of retail investors who wait too long. This year, two SPAC sponsors enter the millionaire club.
Following SPAC mergers with Opendoor, Virgin Galactic, and Clover Health, venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya has amassed a $1.2 billion fortune.
Bill Foley, a long-serving insurance executive, has so far sponsored five SPACs and negotiated profitable merger transactions with two of them.
The other eight recruits have joined the three comma club by combining SPACs with the businesses they formed.
Due to the SPAC controversy, ten new billionaires have been added to the World’s Billionaires list for 2021. Estimated net worth is as of March 5, 2021.
Mat Ishbia, No. 1
RESIDENCE: BLOOMFIELD HILLS, MICHIGAN NET WORTH: $9.7 BILLION SOURCE OF WEALTH: MORTGAGE LENDING
Justin Ishbia, #2
$3 BILLION IN NET WORTH
SOURCE OF PROFIT: CHICAGO IS THE MORTGAGE LENDING RESIDENCE.
Mat Ishbia, the CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage, joined his father’s 11-person mortgage company in 2003, shortly after graduating from Michigan State University, when he walked on to the national champion basketball team.
After the firm boomed during the Great Recession, he and his older brother Justin gradually bought out their father and grew UWM into America’s second-largest mortgage lender, trailing only Dan Gilbert’s Rocket Mortgage.
In January, the company went public after merging with Gores Holdings IV. Justin, a private equity investor, is on the board of directors at UWM.
Austin Russell (#3)
SENSORS RESIDENCE: LOS ALTOS, CALIFORNIA NET WORTH: $2.4 BILLION SOURCE OF WEALTH: SENSORS
Russell, 26, became the world’s youngest self-made billionaire on December 3 when his Luminar Technologies was co-sponsored by private equity billionaires Alec Gores and Dean Metropoulos and went public.
After getting $100,000 in backing from fellow billionaire Peter Thiel, Russell dropped out of Stanford in 2012 to create Luminar. Lidar sensors, which employ laser beams to help self-driving cars navigate their surroundings, are made by the company.
Andrew Paradise, #4
MOBILE GAMES RESIDENCE: LAS VEGAS NET WORTH: $2.3 BILLION SOURCE OF WEALTH: MOBILE GAMES
Skillz, which Paradise cofounded with Casey Chafkin in 2012, combined with Flying Eagle Acquisition Corp., a SPAC led by former media executives Harry Sloan and Jeff Sagansky, in December to become the first publicly traded mobile esports platform.
Every day, Skillz organises five million tournaments, with 1.4 million of them requiring paid entry fees in games like solitaire and bingo.
Skillz made $230 million in income in 2020, after taking a 16 percent to 20% cut of the entry fees.
#5 | William Foley $1.9 BILLION IN NET WORTH
(FINANCIAL SERVICES RESIDENCE: LAS VEGAS SOURCE OF WEALTH: FINANCIAL SERVICES)
Foley, like Gores and Palihapitiya, has had success with SPACs, having sponsored five blank-check companies since May.
One merged with payments platform Paysafe, which went public on March 31, while another agreed in January to a $7.3 billion agreement to take cloud provider Alight Solutions public.
The other three are still on the lookout for a business to buy. Foley is the chairman of Fidelity National Financial, a publicly traded title insurance company that also owns the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights.
Shalom Meckenzie, #6, $1.7 BILLION IN NET WORTH
(SPORTS BETTING ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL ISRAEL)
When DraftKings combined with Sagansky’s SPAC Diamond Eagle Acquisition in April, Meckenzie’s gambling technology platform SBTech amalgamated with the popular sports betting and fantasy sports site.
Even when there were no sports to bet on in the early months of the pandemic, DraftKings stock soared, making Meckenzie, who sits on the board, a billionaire with his 6 percent investment.
The increase in DraftKings shares after the net worths for Forbes’ World’s Billionaires list were confirmed on March 5 briefly made CEO Jason Robins a billionaire.
RESIDENCE: LOS ANGELES #7 | Geeta Gupta-Fisker NET WORTH: $1.6 BILLION
NET WORTH: $1.6 BILLION SOURCE OF WEALTH: ELECTRIC VEHICLES RESIDENCE: LOS ANGELES #8 | Henrik Fisker
Fisker Automotive, Henrik Fisker’s electric vehicle startup, was an early competitor to Tesla until declaring bankrupt in 2013. With his wife Geeta Gupta-Fisker as Chief Financial Officer,
He’s trying again with Fisker Inc. Although the Fisker Ocean SUV won’t be available until late 2022 (and production will be outsourced to Magna), the business capitalised on the EV boom in October when it merged with Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp.
By December, the company’s stock had risen enough to make both husband and wife billionaires, with investors anticipating that the Ocean’s low price—Fisker plans to sell it for $37,499—will make it a viable alternative to Tesla and other electric carmakers.
Trevor Milton, #9
$1.4 BILLION IN NET WORTH
Following a SPAC merger, Milton’s electric truckmaker Nikola—named after its rival’s namesake, early 20th century inventor Nikola Tesla—soared in its first week of trading in June, boosting its founder’s net worth to $8 billion.
The bubble burst in September, when Milton resigned as chairman after being accused of lying about the company’s technology by a short seller.
(“I want to defend myself against false charges levied against me by outside adversaries,” Milton tweeted in reaction to the allegations.)
His 20 percent ownership is still worth more than $1 billion. Nikola hopes to begin manufacturing its first commercial truck in 2021, using batteries and hydrogen fuel cells to power its cars.
Chamath Palihapitiya NET #10 WORTH: $1.2 BILLION
Palihapitiya was an early adopter of the SPAC trend, funding a blank-check firm that later merged with Virgin Galactic in late 2019.
In early March, he sold a major portion of his Virgin Galactic stock for $200 million.
Since then, the former Facebook executive has funded SPAC IPOs for Opendoor, an online real estate startup, and Clover Health, a health insurance provider.
He has three additional blank-check companies on the market, one of which is in talks to go public with personal finance company SoFi.
He’s also the CEO of venture capital firm Social Capital, and his 1.4 million Twitter followers and regular appearances on CNBC throughout the pandemic have helped him achieve prominence.
Palihapitiya, a prominent bitcoin investor, has also used Twitter to promote Gamestop and cheer on recent joke stock gains.