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Maybe the name of Austin Russell It may not sound like much to you, but it is better to remember. Only with 25 years, the Californian is the new youngest billionaire in the world Thanks to your company Luminar Technologies, a startup focused on developing and commercializing technology for autonomous vehicles.
Luminar’s founder and CEO is one of the few who has managed to raise a fortune in the world of self-driving cars. In addition, he is the youngest self-taught billionaire in the world.
“It was incredibly intense, exhausting … Everything we had to go through all day to climb this. And of course it is incredibly rewarding to now have the opportunity to enter the public markets and scale via this IPO SPAC. “Russell told Forbes in a video interview from his Palo Alto, California office. “I’m still relatively young, but… there was a lot of blood, sweat and tears in it. And I was lucky enough to have a good enough attendance. “.
The Wall Street Journal said Luminar’s shares rose around 28% to nearly $ 23 at close of trading on Thursday after the public sale offer. In this way, The company’s market value was approximately $ 7.8 billion.
Austin owns 104.7 million shares of Luminar, About a third of the capital in circulation. At the close of trading on the Nasdaq on Thursday, these were worth $ 2.4 billion.
Luminar Technologies briefly reached an all-time high within a few days of the SPAC merger https://t.co/E4igm6h1xq
– Bloomberg Australia (@BloombergAU) December 7, 2020
The billionaire stands out among his investors Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, famous for offering US $ 100,000 scholarships to exceptional young people who want to drop out of college and pursue their dreams. He helped Russell start his company and has been his advisor ever since The boy left Stanford to start Luminar in 2012.
How did Austin Russell make his fortune?
Russell, who was on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2018, is perfecting lidar, the sensors that enable self-driving cars to “see” their surroundings by bouncing a laser beam off objects in their path. A fundamental technology for self-driving vehicles that has won customers like Volvo Cars, Daimler and Mobileye from Intel.
A report by the US Securities and Exchange Commission estimates that Luminar is expected to generate only $ 15 million in sales this year. At least $ 1.3 billion could be generated by 2026.
Before reaching billionaire status, Russell had already made some notable achievements. According to Forbes’ profile, learned the Periodic Table of the Elements by heart at the age of 2. When he was in sixth grade, he reconnected his Nintendo DS game console to a cell phone after his parents forbade him to have one. He filed his first patent at the age of 13– A groundwater recycling system that collects and saves water from sprinklers to reduce wastewater.
Instead of going to high school He spent his teens at the University of California at the Irvine Beckman Laser Institute. Then he was admitted Stanford however, dropped out to study physics in the middle of his freshman year after winning the $ 100,000 Thiel scholarship and founded Luminar shortly after getting his driver’s license.
With the exception of inherited fortune, Russell is one of the few people on the planet who made a billion dollars before he was 30 years old.
The future of Russell and Luminar Technologies
The young visionary is not only a great business, but also convinced of it Your lidar has the potential to save livesboth as part of self-driving cars and as part of the advanced driver assistance systems that Volvo and other automakers will bring to market over the next two to three years.
When he was a teenager he saw that Velodyne and other companies made laser sensors, however determined to make them more affordable, to be ubiquitous. “We’ve been able to speed this up because nobody has done it before,” remarked Russell.
Although he is a real digital native, the young entrepreneur He doesn’t have an account on Twitter or Instagram. However, he admits this learned most of what he knows from Wikipedia and YouTube.
Austin Russell ponders its impact and plans to help eliminate car accidents.
“If this becomes a new and modern vehicle safety technology that is built into every vehicle produced worldwide, then I would say firmly that we have achieved the goals that we have set for ourselves.”concluded the founder of Luminar Technologies.
With information from Forbes.
See also: This 15-year-old scientist is Time Magazine’s first “Girl of the Year”.