Austin Russell, the founder and CEO of self-driving car startup Luminar, has become the world’s youngest self-made billionaire at 25.
On Thursday, Luminar Technologies Inc, a company started by Russell when he was 17 that creates laser sensors for cars, debuted on the stock market as a public company.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the company now has a market value of about $7.8bn, after share prices increased by nearly 28 per cent.
For Russell, the successful public offering meant his 104.7m shares were worth $2.4bn at the close of trading on Thursday, according to Forbes, which identified the 25-year-old as the “world’s newest – and youngest – self-made billionaire”.
“We set up the company to be a long-term sustainable business and power the future of autonomy for all of these automakers. We are in it for the long-term.”, – says Russell.
Russell first founded Luminar in 2012 after dropping out of Stanford University, where he was studying physics, to accept a Thiel Fellowship from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, who offered the $100,000 fellowships to young people to drop out of college to pursue their dreams, according to Forbes.