A 26-year-old CEO has been crowned the youngest self-made billionaire on Forbes' annual billionaires list after Kylie Jenner was removed
Austin Russell is the youngest self-made billionaire on Forbes' list of World Billionaires by 2021.
The 26-year-old runs a company that provides the technology for self-driving cars.
Russell replaced Kylie Jenner, who was removed in 2020.
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Austin Russell, 26, is the youngest self-made billionaire on Forbes' annual List of Billionaires in the World, released on Tuesday.
Russell became a billionaire practically overnight in December when his company Luminar Technologies was listed on Nasdaq as part of a SPAC merger. Forbes estimated Russell's net worth at $ 2.4 billion.
Russell received a US $ 100,000 scholarship from billionaire Peter Thiel in 2012 and left Stanford to start Luminar Technologies, which builds sensors for autonomous vehicles.
The company's sensors have been used to make self-driving cars at companies like Volvo and Toyota. Luminar's technology is based on lidar, which uses pulses of light to create a 3D map of a car's surroundings to determine the best course and avoid obstacles.
In 2019, Tesla CEO Elon Musk called the technology "doomed". Instead of Lidar, which has become popular with automotive companies like Alphabet's Waymo, Tesla is using external cameras for its "full self-driving" software.
Russell replaced Kylie Jenner on the list after Forbes removed her last May, and said her fortune was overstated in documents she provided.
"What do I wake up with," she wrote in a tweet when responding to Forbes' decision. "I thought this was a legitimate site. All I see is a series of inaccurate statements and unproven assumptions. I have never asked for a title or ever tried to lie to myself."
Jenner was on the cover of Forbes in 2018 as one of the richest self-made women in the United States. This sparked a backlash when some people asked if she was really "homemade" because of her family's wealth.
Russell is one of four self-made billionaires on Forbes' 2021 list who are over 20 years old. The others are the founders of DoorDash, Andy Fang and Stanley Tang, and the crypto investor Sam Bankman-Fried. All four are new additions to the list.
There were several developments in this year's list as COVID-19 shook the economy. Former President Donald Trump lost 298 places in Forbes' rankings. Bloomberg has estimated that Trump's net worth fell by $ 700 million during his presidency.
The youngest billionaire on Forbes' list was Kevin David Lehmann, 18, a German drugstore heir valued at $ 3.3 billion.
Read the full list on Forbes' website.
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