With the film The Social Network being released recently, everyone has heard of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, the youngest billionaire in the world. However, some may not yet have heard of Yoshikazu Tanaka, the second wealthiest billionaire in the world under the age of 35.
Yoshikazu is the only self made billionaire in Asia, of three, under the age of 35. His wealth comes from founding Japan’s second-largest social networking site Gree.jp. The site’s popularity raised the company’s stock considerably, making him worth 1.6 billion. (he owns 51% of the company).
Despite his site being the second-biggest social networking site in Japan as far as registered users, his savvy business skills allowed the site to actually earn more than Japan’s top social networking site Mixi.jp. He did this by focusing on mobile games and making partnerships with major internet service providers (KDDI owns 7 % of the site). Through these partnerships, his site earns greater profits due to it’s success of selling virtual goods to mobile game users.
Yoshikazu graduated in 1999 from Nihon University, the largest university in Japan known for producing artists in cinematography and theater. After graduating, he joined So-net Entertainment Corporation, a Japanese internet service provider, and then left to join Rakuten, Japan’s number one internet shopping site. Armed with relationships in, and an understanding of internet retailers and service providers, he started up Gree.jp becoming CEO.
Gree’s success has continued since its inception. The stock price of Gree doubled in 2009, and has been ranked Japan’s fastest growing tech company. If this kind of growth continues, maybe one day Yoshikazu’s wealth will succeed that of even Zuckerberg.
Read more on Yoshikazu Tanaka’s rise to wealth in this fascinating article by Forbes, read it HERE.