While many industries have taken a hit during the coronavirus crisis, others have been on a tear, producing newly rich people or making those already rich even richer. There are also a couple of Germans among them.
How rich can you get?
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (pictured with his girlfriend Lauren Sanchez in front of the Taj Mahal) is in a class of his own. His e-commerce company has done brisk business in the pandemic, seeing Amazon shares hit new records. Bezos was the world’s richest person even before the coronavirus crisis and has now become even richer. According to Forbes magazine, he’s worth $193 billion (€161 billion).
Elon Musk eyes top slot
Elon Musk’s Tesla produces cars, but on the stock exchange, it gets treated like a tech high flier. Musk’s firm has profited from the market hype around tech stocks during the pandemic. A short while ago, the South African-born entrepreneur overtook Bill Gates on the world’s richest people list. Worth some $132 billion, Musk is out to narrow the gap with Jeff Bezos.
Zooming in on Yuan
The growing number of people working from home during the pandemic is a big boon for Eric Yuan. The founder of Zoom moved from China to the US when he was 27-years-old. After some years with rival WebEx, he launched his own video communications platform, with Zoom going public in 2019. Since the coronavirus crisis, shares have exploded. Yuan is estimated to own some $19 billion.
Fit for success
Distancing rules and closed workout studios have played into the hands of John Foley. Back in 2013, he was still touting his connected workout equipment at Kickstarter. Today, people are willing to spend a lot on Peloton’s at-home gym equipment. The company’s shares have tripled during the pandemic, unexpectedly turning the almost 50-year-old Foley into a billionaire.
Conquering the whole world
Shopify enables traders to create their own online shops — a concept developed by Tobias Lütke. Born in Koblenz, Germany, he emigrated to Canada in 2002 and started out in a garage like so many other North Americans. Meanwhile, Shopify is Canada’s most valuable enterprise, with its share price having doubled since March. Forbes magazine says 39-year-old Lütke is worth some $9 billion.
As early as January this year, Ugur Sahin started backing the right horse by working on a COVID-19 vaccine. The drug developed by his Germany-based company BioNTech could soon secure medical approval. The vaccine has pushed Sahin, who hails from Turkey, into the public spotlight and made him super rich. The value of the shares he holds is estimated to be $2.4 billion.
Ingredients for success
Food services company HelloFresh is booming. Profits have more than tripled during the pandemic, figures from the latest quarterly earnings report showed in early November. Co-founder and shareholder Dominik Richter has been making the most of restaurants being closed. He’s not quite in the same league as the richest pandemic profiteers, but he’s got the right ingredients to catch up with them.
Amazon one more time
Jeff Bezos isn’t the only one who’s grown even richer through Amazon. Thanks to the shares she owns, Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie Scott hit it big and climbed to top spot on the world’s richest women list. She’s estimated to be worth some $72 billion and obviously happened to be with the right partner at the right time.