Alexandr Wang, the tech entrepreneur and CEO founder of Scale AI, has recently made global headlines for becoming the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. He is 25 years old.
So who exactly is the young Asian-American billionaire and how did he make his fortune? We take a closer look.
He started his company after dropping out of college
Wang began studying for his BS in Mathematics and Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute for Technology (aka MIT). In the summer after completing his first-year year at the prestigious New England university, he started Scale with fellow young tech whizz Lucy Guo.
According to Forbes, the two co-founders met while both working at question and answer platform Quora. The entrepreneurial duo started the venture with investment from US start-up accelerator Y Combinator.
On starting Scale, Wang recounted to Forbes, “I told my parents it was just going to be a thing I did for the summer … Obviously, I never went back to school.”
He’s now worth US$1 billion
Last year Wang’s company received investment funding of some US$350 million. This financial backing, coupled with the fact that Scale is already enjoying US$100 million in revenue, valued the young entrepreneur’s company at a massive US$7.3 billion.
— Alexandr Wang (@alexandr_wang) October 6, 2021
Thanks to his one per cent stake in the company, Forbes has therefore estimated that his net worth is now US$1 billion. Not too bad for a 25-year-old. In fact, at the time of writing he was ranked 2,534th on the Forbes list of world billionaires.
He comes from a scientific family
The young billionaire’s technological and scientific prowess is perhaps in part due to his family background. Growing up in New Mexico, Wang’s parents were both physicists who worked on projects for the American military, according to Prestige.
Clearly inheriting a strong intellect himself, Wang would regularly compete in maths and coding competitions at school. By the age of 17, when most high school students are likely prepping for their journey towards university and beyond, Wang was coding full time for Quora.
— Forbes (@Forbes) May 27, 2022
He was previously featured on Forbes
Before achieving the noteworthy distinction of being the youngest self-made billionaire on the planet, Wang had already been name checked in Forbes’ 2018 30 under 30 list. The annual list showcases the most remarkable up-and-coming young entrepreneurs, stars, thought leaders and bright minds across a range of different industries and spheres.
Wang and his Scale co-founder Lucy Guo, were included in the esteemed list in the Enterprise Technology category.
His company’s technology is used by more than 300 companies
As per Scale’s “about” page on their company website, the organisation aims to “accelerate the development of AI applications”.
According to Fortune magazine, Scale AI helps businesses deal with the data preparation needed to train AI systems. As the largest company in the sector, its usefulness spans multiple industries, from government and self-driving cars, to mapping, robotics, virtual reality and the military.
Scale is currently donating its technology for free to help analyse satellite images of the impact of Russian attacks and military campaigns in Ukraine.
As Wang told Forbes, “Every industry is sitting on huge amounts of data … [Scale’s] goal is to help them unlock the potential of the data and supercharge their businesses with AI.”
So successful and valuable is Scale’s technology, that its impressive service has been employed by more than 300 companies and organisations. Some of the big names utilising Wang’s company’s technology include General Motors, PayPal, Toyota, SAP, Lyft and the American military.
Note: This story was originally published on SCMP and has been republished on this website.