Think of the country’s tech billionaires as you read tomorrow’s annual list of the 250 richest Australians.
2022 wiped billions of their wealth as the old-school titans continued to make a motza by digging things up, building condominiums, and turning trees into boxes.
Twelve months after the tech billionaires behind Canva and Atlassian stormed into the top 10 richest Australians, Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar have tracked their company’s share price south (as they also regularly unload packages from them), with a combined $20 billion cleared from their personal wealth. They also dropped in the rankings from 4th and 5th last year to 6th and 7th in 2023 – just behind belligerent Queensland miner and aspiring politician Clive Palmer.
The Australian estimates Cannon-Brookes’ personal wealth at $16.1 billion in 2023 (up from $26.2 billion in 2022) and Farquhar at $15.6 billion (2022: $25.99 billion).
Canva’s married co-founders Cliff Obrecht and Melanie Perkins saw about $5.8 billion disappear from their combined wealth after the private company’s valuation was slashed by its venture capitalists by 36% to $25.6 billion ($37 billion). . They dropped from 8th last year to the top 10 in 10th with $10.1 billion, up from $15.89 billion last year
The duo owns 30% of the company and promised to give away most of their fortune.
Meanwhile, Gina Rinehart of Hancock Prospecting is once again Australia’s richest person at $37.1 billion, with an additional $6.5 billion in the past 12 months.
Fellow WA miner and technology investor Dr. Andrew Forrest is once second with his fortune having increased by about $4.5 billion to $35.2 billion in a year.
Rounding out the top 5, all with more money than last year, are boxing baron Anthony Pratt with $27.9 billion, apartment builder Harry Triguboff of Meriton fame with $23.6 billion and the country’s largest political advertiser and litigant, Clive Palmer, with $20.4 billion.
But next-generation technology has made its mark on The List 2023, with Ed Craven, the 27-year-old co-founder of six-year-old online crypto gambling startup Stake.com (not to be confused with the publicly traded companies investing in app stake .com.au) cracking the richest 250 with a fortune of $2 billion.
Ironically, Stake.com’s gambling license prevents the sports betting and casino platform from being used by Australian players.
The combination of NFTs (non-fungible tokens) and gaming (but not gambling) has also been lucrative for Ferguson’s brother, James and Robbie, co-founders of Immutable.
A $280 million Series C raise propped up global VCs Temasek and Tencent at a $3.5 billion valuation 12 months ago catapulted them to the list with an estimated wealth of $750 million, with younger brother Robbie the youngest person to win the list made.
The list: Australia’s richest 250 can be seen in The Australian on Friday 24 March.