Human technology

There’s a new youngest self-made billionaire, and he’s gotten rich working with the government

Do you like what you read ? This is a version of the Under 30 newsletter. Get it delivered to your inbox every Friday by signing up here.


When Massachusetts Institute of Technology dropout Alexandr Wang made the Forbes 30 Under 30 Enterprise Technology list in 2018, his startup Scale used artificial intelligence to begin automating tasks like image recognition and transcription sound. At the time, its customers included GM Cruise, Alphabet, Uber, P&G and others.

Now Wang, 25, is the youngest self-made billionaire. And while he still partners with hot companies, he now has $110 million in government defense contracts. This helped Scale reach a valuation of $7.3 billion and give Wang a net worth of $1 billion (because he owns 15% of the company).

Find out more about the math-killing billionaire here.

Meet the Forbes Under 30 Asia Class of 2022

This 300-person group of Asia-focused leaders is as diverse as it is impressive. Some stars include Olympian Eileen Gu, squid games Star Hoyeon and the Stanford dropouts behind India-based quasi-unicorn Zepto were reportedly valued at $900 million after his latest $200 million Series D round led by Y Combinator this month.

Read more →

Money movements this week

In 2014, Patrick and John Collison made the Forbes 30 Under 30 List for their startup that allowed businesses to charge by credit card over the internet. Now The Irish Brothers Company Bandaged is worth $95 billion, and each sibling about $9.5 billion – and they face competition from startups and incumbents. Our cover story details their plan to stay on top. (Forbes)

The failures in the buy now, pay later space are about to punish everyone, but young consumers will be the hardest hit. (New York)

Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia gives high school graduates Airbnb’s actions as part of his keynote. (Forbes)

These guys have built a platform to make sure your VCs are useful, and it raised $8 million in seed funding. (Forbes)

Another startup raised $10 million to create Lidar versions of iPhone cameras. (Forbes)

Bolt, whose founder under 30 recently graced the cover of Forbes 400, endured another brutal week. It laid off 25% of its staff, or 240 employees. (Forbes)

How will be crypto rate in a bear market? Despite Terra’s jaw dropping, there are a few signs that crypto may be doing very well. Here are a few:

— Andreessen Horowitz’s crypto unit, known as crypto a16z, announced on Wednesday that it has raised $4.5 billion for its fourth fund. (Forbes)

—JPMorgan thinks Bitcoin is undervalued because it calls cryptocurrencies its favorite alternative assets. (Forbes)

— Babel Finance, the Sequoia China-backed crypto financial services firm, secured a $2 billion valuation after an $80 million round. (Forbes)

—Ethereum scaling company StarkWare quadrupled its valuation to $8 billion. (Forbes)

behind the story

I don’t have kids, and I don’t plan on having any in the near future (maybe ever), but kids make my stomach turn. I am outraged, devastated and in mourning for the community of Uvalde. And I think of the new caregivers who travel miles to find formula for their malnourished Ukrainian infants and children.

So some signs of optimism for children are welcome. This week, I shined every other point of light Forbes Founders under 30, Michelle Egger and Laura Katz, are working separately to bring synthetic breast milk to the infant nutrition market.

Egger raised $20 million for his BioMilq from backers like Bill Gates to grow breast milk from human cells, while Katz raised $25 million from VCs and angel investors to ferment yeast in synthetic human milk. Although the two founders are years away from being able to store their products on depleted shelves of formula, they are confident that their technologies will provide modern parents with the best nutritional options for newborns. However, other people I’ve interviewed are skeptical of consumer adoption. Who will be the first to feed their infant synthetic breast milk?

Read my full story here.

Forbes 30 Under 30 Retail and e-commerce in Asia

This group of under 30s is reinventing the way we shop, online and offline.

Read more →

Now Open: Forbes Under 30 2023 Nominations

Do you know someone who is creating the next Instagram, Stripe or Spotify? Nominate them (or nominate yourself!) today. Do it here →