Forbes has released the 25th edition of its rich-beyond-belief list. The World's Billionaires 2011 broke two records: total number of members (1,210) and combined wealth ($4.5 trillion). Facebook helped.
Six of the company's founders and investors made the annual list this year; that's one billionaire for each of Facebook's 100 million users. Four of them only just became billionaires, according to Forbes.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg moved from number 212 with an estimated worth of $4 billion in 2010 to number 52 with a wealth of $13.5 billion. Zuckerberg's fortune exploded 238 percent over the last year, making him the largest percentage gainer in the US. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel moved from 828 and an estimated worth of $1.2 billion to 833 and $1.5 billion (no, that's not a typo: although his wealth grew, his rank decreased as others grew faster than him). Thiel invested $500,000 in Facebook in 2004.
Facebook co-founders Dustin Moskovitz ($2.7 billion) and Eduardo Saverin ($1.6 billion) joined the ranks of the richest. 26-year-old Moskovitz is actually the youngest billionaire on the Forbes list, just 8 days younger than the Facebook CEO. He was Zuckerberg's roommate at Harvard, Facebook's third employee, and left Facebook in 2008 to start Asana. Saverin was meanwhile sued by Facebook for allegedly interfering with business and insisting on keeping a 30 percent stake. Saverin countersued, the two settled, and he got a 5 percent stake as well as a co-founder bio on Facebook’s site. He is now living in Singapore, and recently invested in Qwiki.
Facebook investors Sean Parker ($1.6 billion) and Yuri Milner ($1.0 billion) also joined up this year. Parker, Facebook's former president and Napster co-founder, has a stake of just under 3 percent in the social network after joining the company in 2004. Separately, he has returned to his roots by investing in Spotify. Using DST Global, a private fund that invests in global Internet companies, Milner paid $200 million in 2009 for a stake in Facebook. The value of this initial investment has jumped an estimated five-fold.
To refresh your memory, Facebook was recently valued at $65 billion. Anyone want to take a gander as to how many billionaires will be on next year's list?