Gallery: America’s Richest Self-Made Women 2023: Youngest Self-Made Women
For most people, success is built over a few decades. But the youngest members on Forbes’ 2023 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women harnessed their passion, worked hard and achieved their dreams at notably young ages.
Of the 100 members on this year’s ranking of the richest, most successful self-made women entrepreneurs, executives and entertainers in the U.S., just 11 are women under 40.
That number hasn’t changed since last year, but some of the names have, as newcomers broke into the ranks and some others fell below the cut.
Kylie Jenner, at age 25, is the youngest person on the list for the sixth consecutive year, meaning she made her debut at age 20. A member of the Kardashian-Jenner family, the reality TV star and cosmetics entrepreneur clocks in at No. 38 this year worth an estimated $680 million, up from $600 million at No. 41 in 2022. She built up her customer base for Kylie Cosmetics by tapping into her huge social media following–now at 392 million followers on Instagram alone.
Only one other person on the list is in her 20s: Lucy Guo. Guo, 28, studied computer science at Carnegie Mellon University but dropped out to become a Thiel Fellow and then worked at Snapchat. She made the Forbes Under 30 list in 2018, two years after she cofounded AI firm Scale AI. She’s now the CEO and founder of Passes, a web3 platform for creators.
New to the 2023 ranks are three thirty-something entrepreneurs: 36-year-old Christina Cacioppo, 38-year-old Iman Abuzeid and 39-year-old Julia Cheek. Cacioppo cofounded security and compliance automation company Vanta in 2017 and has led it as CEO since then; private investors value the firm at $1.6 billion. Abuzeid, who attended medical school in the U.K. and later moved to the U.S. for a job at a consulting firm, is the cofounder of health care staffing company Incredible Health, which helps connect nurses with open positions at hospitals. In 2015 Cheek founded Everly Health, an at-home testing company, out of her frustration at having to pay thousands of dollars for lab testing to diagnose issues related to vitamin and hormone imbalances. It now makes 30 different health and wellness tests and had estimated revenue of $250 million last year.
As for last year’s Under 40 members who no longer appear in the ranks, one aged out: Emma Grede, cofounder and CEO of fashion brand Good American who ranks No. 84 on the list, turned 40 in September. Two others dropped out of the ranks. Daily Harvest founder Rachel Drori was worth $350 million last year as a newcomer based on the $1.1 billion valuation by private investors of her meal delivery company. A June 2022 recall of its Lentil & Leek Crumbles bruised the company’s sales and helped knock down Forbes’ estimate of the company’s value, along with lower comparable public company valuations. Tennis champ and investor Maria Sharapova, who’s now 36, just missed the $225 million cutoff.
The youngest self-made woman for the sixth consecutive year, Jenner is worth $80 million more than a year ago. Jenner got her start on the Kardashian family’s hit show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which ran for 20 seasons. The youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan started her makeup company Kylie Cosmetics (of which she owns an estimated 44% stake) in 2015, launching her popular lip kits and marketing them to her millions of Instagram followers. In 2020, she sold a 51% stake in the company to Coty for $600 million.
Guo launched Passes, a “web3 platform for creators” that is a competitor to Patreon, in April last year and raised $8 million from investors in September. The bulk of her fortune comes from her nearly 6% stake in artificial intelligence firm Scale AI, which Forbes estimates is worth one-third less than a year ago. She cofounded the firm with Alexandr Wang in 2016 and left in 2018.
The American pop star’s net worth is up by $170 million since last year thanks to the release of her new album, Midnights, in October 2022, followed by the announcement of her Eras tour, which kicked off in March. A record 2 million-plus tickets were sold by Ticketmaster in one day. She will get a cut from all 52 performances and merchandise sales. Swift will also release her re-recorded third album Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) on July 7th.
Bumble’s founder–a former billionaire–lost another $230 million in the past year as shares of the dating app plunged nearly 30%; the stock is down nearly 80% since Bumble’s 2021 IPO. Her app differentiated itself from its competitors by having women make the first move. The company continues to struggle with a drop-off of paid users for its international dating app, Badoo. That hasn’t stopped Wolfe Herd from enjoying her wealth: In January, she and her husband reportedly bought a $21 million California ranch from Ellen DeGeneres (No. 73)
In June 2022, Romer’s online education company, Guild Education, raised $175 million from investors at a $4.4 billion valuation. Guild, which she founded in 2015, helps companies retain employees by assisting them in learning new job-related skills and earn debt-free college degrees. Romer’s fortune declined by nearly half as a result of her divorce in late 2022; she was previously listed under her married name, Carlson.
Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show in February attracted 121 million viewers, making it one of the most watched. It was her first live performance in more than five years and came two months after she released new music for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack. She is launching a new Fenty X Puma partnership and has an estimated 30% stake in lingerie line Savage X Fenty. The bulk of her fortune comes from Fenty Beauty, the makeup line she co-owns with French luxury goods firm LVMH (run by Bernard Arnault, the world’s richest person), sales of which doubled in 2022.
The Ohio native previously worked in venture capital at Union Square Ventures and as a product manager at Dropbox, but the itch to build things—dating back to the eBay Beanie Baby business she ran at age 11—never went away, even after a couple of failed startup attempts. In 2017, she cofounded security and compliance company Vanta, which has quickly grown under her leadership as CEO. The company, which serves over 5,000 customers globally, was valued at $1.6 billion after its last funding round in June 2022.
The software engineer-turned-entrepreneur announced her new company—fraud detection firm Oscilar—in March. She cofounded it with her husband in 2021, funding it with $20 million; she is CEO. She was previously cofounder and former chief technology officer of data-streaming software firm Confluent, which went public in 2021 at a splashy $9.1 billion valuation.
The daughter of a Sudanese surgeon living in Saudi Arabia, Abuzeid got her medical degree in the U.K. but skipped her residency to move to the U.S. for a job in health care consulting. In 2017 she cofounded Incredible Health to help solve the nursing shortage plaguing American hospitals. The service, which is like a souped-up version of LinkedIn for nurses, raised $80 million of funding in August 2022, valuing the company at $1.65 billion.
Huda Beauty, which she founded and chairs, sells more than 100 different cosmetics, skin care and fragrances. Private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners acquired a minority stake in a 2017 deal valuing the business at $1.2 billion; it likely wouldn’t fetch that much these days, according to analysts, who say the cosmetics industry is off its high. Born and raised in Oklahoma and the daughter of immigrants from Iraq, Kattan now seeds other startups including social audio app Clubhouse through the Dubai-based HB Investments.
Cheek founded Everly Health in 2015 out of her frustration at having to pay thousands of dollars for lab tests to diagnose issues related to vitamin and hormone imbalance. The company’s at-home health and wellness testing kits are sold online and in stores like Target and CVS. Revenue hit an estimated $250 million in 2022; the Austin, Texas–based company also conducted layoffs as the Covid testing boom receded. Most of the tests are for screening—not diagnosing—disease, but a new push would connect more customers to doctors and prescriptions, including thyroid and weight-loss drugs.
Source: Fox Business
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