Usually the Sunday Times Rich List makes me green with envy at how much money the rich are making. Not so this year. The Top 1000 have lost 37 per cent of their wealth, down by an astonishing £155 billion between them – now that’s a lot.
Yet for tech companies it’s not all bad news. Eight of the top 100 rich kids under 30 made their money from tech and some of the fastest growing fortunes are online, including Natalie Massenet (pictured) who is the force behind Netaporter.com. Founders of internet gambling, price comparison websites and certain etailers feature particularly highly this year, in many cases because of fairly hefty valuations on their businesses.
Here’s a list of the tech-related folk from this year’s Sunday Times Rich List.
Over £500 million!
25. John Caudwell (Mobile Phones) £1400 million
The richest tech-related person on the list, Caudwell – 56 – sold his mobile phone business in 2006 to a private equity firm, trousering about £1.24 billion. Still has a stake in Phones4U.
59. Sir Alan Sugar (Consumer Electronics) £730 million
Probably best known for looking grumpy and shouting ‘You’re Fired’ than anything else. But orginally made his fortune from Amstrad (receiving £36 million for his stake) and still has a holding in Viglen.
60. Russell de Leon and Ruth Parasol (Internet) £700million
They may have been forced to shut their American operations, but Party Gaming, now trading out of Gibraltar, is estimated to be worth a fortune. The husband and wife couple behind the operation have a stake worth £200 million in the business.
70. Sir Terry Matthews (Computers) £600 million
Made £600 million after selling Newbridge Networks to Alcatel some time ago, but most of his business these days is from his £125m golf resort in south Wales which will host the Ryder Cup next year.
77. Anurag Dikshit (Internet) £559 million
Left the board of internet poker website Party Gaming in 2006 but retains a stake in the business worth £216 million. Rest of wealth from past share sales.
79. Paul Sykes (Internet) £550 million
Sold Planet Online, once one of the biggest ISPs in the UK, to Energis. But also made a lot of cash from selling Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield
£200million to £500 million
112. Michael Moritz (Internet) £470 million
Welsh born venture capitalist made a fortune with Sequoia Capital from early investment in Google and YouTube.
128. Peter and Denise Coates (Internet) £400 million
One of the few risers in the Top 1000, the father and daughter combination are the brains behind the Bet365 website. Profits more than doubled in 2008 to £30 million on revenue of £160 million.
135. Jan Mol (Computers) £390 million
Dutch computer entrepreneur sold his IT company Volmac and has invested in several internet firms run by his son Michael in Amsterdam.
156. Sir Peter Rigby (Computers) £330 million
Stake in Specialist Computer Holdings, a Midlands based tech firm, estimated at £300 million.
178. Charles Dunstone (Mobile Phones) £300 million
Dunstone’s Carphone Warehouse may have been hit hard by the downturn, but he’s still worth a few quid, despite the Sunday Times estimating that he’s lost £600 million of his fortune in the last year.
178. Mo Ibrahim (Mobile Phones) £300 million
London based, Sudanese born, Ibrahim sold his stake in African mobile phone company Celtel to Kuwaiti outfit MTC for £1.7 billion.
218. Niklas Zennstrom (Internet) £260 million
The London-based Swede sold Skype to eBay in 2005 for a stomping £1.5 billion (his share was worth £225 million) and is now running video streaming service Joost.
222. Michael and Xochi Birch (Internet) £250 million
Sold Bebo to AOL for £418 million in 2008 (70 per cent owned by the couple and his brother). Michael Birch’s latest venture is multimedia dictionary Wordia.
222.Harold Goddijn and Corinne Goddijn-Vigreux (Satellite Navigation) £250 million
Husband and wife team behind Dutch satellite navigation firm TomTom. Started as a palmtop computer firm, now one of the biggest GPS brands in the world.
238. Dr Mike Lynch (Software) £235 million
Founder of Cambridge software house Autonomy. Products enabling email and phone call retrieval and strorage have proved particularly popular in the US.
243. Vikrant Bhargava (Internet Gambling) £230 million
Yet another internet gambling millionaire, Bhargava made his fortune from the 2005 floatation of Party Gaming
251. David Hood (Consumer Electronics) £220 million
Co-founder of Yorkshire-based firm Pace, the world’s third largest digital set-top box company.
Between £100million and £200million
291. Peter Harrison (Computers) £195 million
Made £300million through network integration firm Chernikeeff
297. Ed Wray (Internet gambling) £190 million
Wray co-founded internet gambling company Betfair with Andrew Black (number 304 in the list with £185million)
359. Peter Jones (Mobile phones) £157 million
Dragons Den star Jones’ mobile phone company, Phones International Group, is worth approx £120 million. With property and other assets he is worth nearly £160 million.
362. Graham Wylie (Software) £150 million
Co-founded Sage in which he later sold a £116 million stake.
388. Simon Nixon (Internet) £140 million
Co-founder of Wales-based internet company, Moneysupermarket.com. Duncan Cameron, who sold much of his stake to Simon Nixon is valued at £130 million (406th richest)
422. Richard Koch (Internet) £129 million
Entrepreneur’s £1.5m investment in Betfair has grown to £95 million. Previously made money from Filofax and Belgo restaurants.
438. Gordon Crawford (Computers) £120 million
Crawford made £76 million from sale of London Bridge Software in 2004. Also involved in CMR, a Cambridge fuel cell company.
438. Guy Johnson (Mobile phones) £120 million
Founded Carphone Warehouse with Charles Dunstone and David Ross.
438. Jonathan Reeves (Computers) £120 million
Born in Dorset, Reeves is a serial computer entrepreneur. Now chairs Afore Solutions, a high tech firm based in Ottowa.
438. Daniel Borel (Computer accessories) £120 million
Swiss born Borel is the largest shareholder in computer peripheral company Logitech.
492. Wilf Corrigan (Computers) £110 million
Founded microchip firm LSI Logic in 1981. Sold £78 million stake before retiring in 2006.
507. Herman Hauser (Computers) £107 million
Made his first £100 million with Acorn Computers. Has since gone on to back hi-tech firms through his venture capital business, Amadeus Capital Partners.
510. Julian Richer (Hi-Fi) £105 million
Larger than life retailer who brought ‘pile em high, sell ’em cheap’ ethos to the stuffy world of hi-fi with his Richer Sounds chain
533. Ashley Head (Computers) £103 million
Chair of Datacash, online payment firm based in London and Edinburgh.
Up to £100 million!!
566. Andrew and Paul Gower (Computer games) £99 million
The owners of Jagex, the Cambridge firm behind online game Runescape and others.
600. Ben and Jos White (Computers) £90 million
Founders of three tech firms: RBR Networks, Star Internet and MessageLabs. MessageLabs scans more than 1 billion emails a week for viruses.
600. Julian and Marc Worth (Internet) £90 million
Brothers sold their trendspotting website, Worth Global Style Network, to EMAP for £140 million.
657. Marquess of Milford Haven (Internet) £85 million
Queen’s cousin, 428th in line to the throne and founder of price comparison website uSwitch.
694. Richard Goulding (Internet) £80 million
Runs Jersey-based internet retailer Play.com with Simon Peree (also 694th richest). Turnover was £340 million in 2007.
751. John McAfee (Anti-Virus software) £75 million
The man behind McAfee anti-virus software.
Natalie Massenet (Online fashion) £54 million
With a fortune of just £54million, Massenet – the founder of online fashion retailer NetAPorter – just misses out on the Top 1000 list though she is 98 in the 100 Wealthiest Women chart.