No, but it must be really nice to be rich. We can all agree that 2020 has been an unprecedented year, and generally the economy has taken a downturn, apparently no thanks to the pandemic. However, every story has two sides to it, and every cloud has a silver lining. Despite the pandemic, there are still new billionaires in 2020 that made the Forbes list (almost 200 of them, actually!). Here are 10 of them!
1) Eric Yuan
Eric Yuan is the founder and CEO of Zoom Technologies, Inc. Yes, that Zoom you’ve been using for all your meetings, which has really risen to popularity during the pandemic. Born in China, Eric Yuan moved to the USA in 1997, after having his visa application denied for 8 times in a row. The idea for Zoom came about when he was in a long-distance relationship with his then-girlfriend, when he wished he could press a button and see her and talk to her. Spoiler alert: they’re married now!
2) Jitse Groen
Jitse Groen is the founder and CEO of another service company that has more or less become an essential during the pandemic. Any guesses? A food delivery company–Takeaway.com! Based in Netherlands, Takeaway.com operates in ten European countries, as well as Israel. He started Takeaway.com back when he was 21 years old, during which he was unable to get a food delivery for a birthday celebration. Since then, he has taken over Germany’s Delivery Hero, and merged with Britain’s Just Eat, where he remains as CEO of the merged organisation.
3) Byju Raveendran
Byju Raveendran created BYJU’s – The Learning App, an online educational app. Its content is mainly catered for primary to secondary school students in India, and prepares them for their examinations. In fact, in July 2019, it was valued at $5.5 billion. Though currently only based in India, Byju has plans to expand the app internationally to the USA, Canada and Australia. Its brand ambassador is Shah Rukh Khan, and investors include Mark Zuckerberg and Tencent among others.
4) Larry Xiangdong Chen
While India has BYJU’s, China has GSX Techedu Inc. A US-listed educational firm, it provides after-school tutoring in China, offering K-12 courses covering all primary and secondary grades as well as foreign language, professional and interest courses. Before he founded GSX in 2014, Chen was previously vice-president at New Oriental Education & Technology Group form 2010 – 2014. Besides that, he also has a Master’s degree and a Ph. D. in economics from Renmin University in Beijing.
5) Dmitry & Igor Bukhman
These Russian brothers are the minds behind Playrix, one of the leading mobile game developers in the world, developing free-to-play games. You might know some of their games, including Township, Fishdom and Gardenscapes. This love of games started young, where they started selling games online when Dmitry was still in high school. During the peak of the pandemic in March-April, Playrix reported an increase in downloads and profits, and the brothers are worth $3.1 billion according to the Forbes Billionaire list.
6) Kim Jung-Woong
We don’t know if you’ve noticed, but face masks (the beauty kind, not the medical kind), surged in popularity in recent years. Korea is well-known for its skincare products/routines, and therefore masks were a hit as well. Back to the name at hand, Kim Jung-Woong is the founder and CEO of GP Club, a cosmetics company based in Seoul. GP Club’s best known product is its JM Solution facial masks, which are extremely popular in mainland China. Within two years of launching, GP Club sold more than a billion masks, skyrocketing sales and profits.
7) Qian Ying
Have you heard of Muyuan Foods before? Muyuan Foods is a pig breeder, and one of the world’s largest at that! Qian Ying is the co-founder and director of Muyuan Foods, which she runs with her husband Qin Yinglin. (Qin is also a billionaire himself.) Both of them studied animal husbandry in university, and began their venture back in 1992 with only 22 pigs.
8) Anthony von Mandl
Currently owning five wineries, Anthony von Mandl first started off by selling wine out of his car. Though now operating wineries, the majority of his income actually comes from something other than wine: ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages White Claw and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Besides creating these products, von Mandl is also known as a master storyteller, and he owes his success in part to compelling stories that sold these products at a large scale.
9) Sun Huaiqing
Sun Huaiqing is the chairman of Guangdong Marubi Biotechnology, a cosmetics and skincare supplier company. Its best-known product is high-end eye cream brand “Marubi”, though it also has other brands including skin care brand “Haruki” and make-up brand “Passional Lover”. L Capital, an affiliate of the LVMH group, is an investor. Before this, Sun worked at an electric machinery factory.
10) Forrest Xiaodong Li
Forrest Li is the chairman and CEO of Sea, an online gaming company, though it also has interests in digital payments and e-commerce. To put it plainly, it has three brands under the big umbrella: Shopee, Garena and AirPay. Share prices of Sea almost tripled since February last year and 18th March this year, which propelled Li onto the billionaire list. Li also holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
While we’re done with this, you could also check out a list of Malaysia’s richest!