Scott & Mina O'Neill

Meet this year’s 26 Young Rich List debutants


When Perth couple Matilda and Don Robertson moved their fledgling athleisure business Stax to Sydney, the only storage unit they could afford didn’t have any electricity.

Now they can afford more than just lighting. The hype for their leggings has fuelled a quick-fire success story. In 2020, the couple confessed to being broke. Their business is now turning over $30 million, and they have no plans to slow down.

Stax’s Don and Matilda Robertson. Louise Kennerley

The couple debut on the 2022 Financial Review Young Rich List, published on Friday, October 28, worth an estimated $52 million. They join 24 other Australians aged 40 or under debuting this year, which includes a strong showing from sports stars, musicians and entrepreneurs building tech fortunes in one of the industry’s most challenging years.

The highest-ranked debutant is Ed Craven. At 27, he becomes the nation’s youngest ever self-made billionaire, debuting on the Young Rich List with an estimated $1.1 billion fortune, which, if sustained, will make him a member of next year’s Financial Review Rich List.

It’s all thanks to success building an online cryptocurrency casino, which has thrown him so much cash that he was able to buy not one but two mansions in Toorak, including August’s record-making $88 million purchase of the “ghost” mansion on St Georges Road. He’s been accused of overpaying.

“It was a lucky number for the seller but will hopefully also be one for me,” Craven says.

“I don’t have a particular view on the ups and downs of the Australian housing market. For me, this was more of a once-in-a-lifetime chance to purchase such a unique and storied Melbourne property.”

Craven’s, which he set up in 2017 with American friend Bijan Tehrani, raked in $1.8 billion of revenue and a pre-tax operating profit of $550 million in calendar 2021, a phenomenon that has largely flown under the radar in Australia as it’s illegal to play on it here.

Ed Craven, Australia’s youngest billionaire, has built an online casino with American friend Bijan Tehrani. Eamon Gallagher

However, a jersey sponsorship deal with English Premier League club Everton worth $18 million a year, and an ambassadorship with rap superstar Drake that allows him to bet millions on as he livestreams to his fans, means the brand is big news elsewhere. Tehrani hopes to gain Australian citizenship, which could mean he joins next year’s Rich List too.

Craven tells The Australian Financial Review that a founding focus on the return to’s players, while operating on the lowest possible profit margins, has been key to its success.

“Most gaming operators are looking to do the opposite – maximising profit margins,” he says.

“We felt this to be counterproductive … The result has been exceptional customer loyalty.”

Domiciled on the Dutch Carribean island of Curacao, has already adjusted its business model several times as regulation gradually catches up with the new world of gambling in cryptocurrency, and Craven says it will continue to do so.

“While the growth of our company has been very closely tied to cryptocurrency, that won’t necessarily always be the case,” he says.

He points out that is already accepting fiat currency in regions where crypto betting is not yet allowed, such as the UK, and that even the Northern Territory Racing Commission is exploring the possibility of accepting crypto bets.

It has been rapid-fire success. However, Craven is not the only person who is yet to turn 30 while making a small fortune from tech.

Alexander and Anthony Zaccaria and Nicholas Humphreys are the trio behind Linktree, which lets influencers, celebrities, journalists and brands link to their blogs, podcasts and more from one place.

The Zaccaria brothers and Humphreys noticed clients of their digital agency for the music industry had trouble managing and monetising their presence across multiple social media platforms.

So they hatched Linktree, which was valued at $1.9 billion by a March capital raise, although the tech sell-off forced the company to pare 17 per cent of its 280-strong workforce in August. The trio debut on the list worth $280 million each.

Also aged 30 or under and sitting within the $200 million club is Jack Lu, Sidney Zhang and Zedd Yin, three of the four founders behind Magic Eden, a marketplace for non-fungible tokens, which has become the largest of its kind on the popular Solana blockchain. The trio debut with an estimated $200 million each.

And there’s another trio that hit the big league building a platform that allows businesses to scale NFTs, this one on the Ethereum blockchain. James and Robbie Ferguson and Alex Connolly co-founded Immutable, a company worth $3.5 billion that has landed all three on the Young Rich List for the first time.

Although technology operators dominate the Young Rich List, there are some old-school ways to make it on the list this year: sport and music.

Jordan Mailata, the son of Samoan immigrants to Australia, was born and grew up in Bankstown in Sydney’s south-west before he was drafted to play for the Philadelphia Eagles in the US National Football League. He debuts with an estimated $49 million net wealth.

Jordan Mailata debuts on the Young Rich List thanks to his lucrative NFL contract. Getty

Also making big bucks in the US is Perth baseballer Liam Hendriks, who signed a three-year deal with the Chicago White Sox last year, underpinning his $48 million debut.

Meanwhile, former AFL footballer Brad Moran debuts worth an estimated $78 million after selling CitrusAd, a business that allows grocers to earn advertising income from their online operations that was sold to French multinational Publicis Group for $205 million last year.

Alongside sporting starts is the strongest showing from the entertainment industry in years. Musicians Toni Watson, better known as Tones & I, and James Keogh, who fans would know as Vance Joy, debut on the Young Rich List worth $35 million and $40 million respectively.

Toni Watson, better known as Tones & I, is worth an estimated $35 million.  Getty

In Dance Monkey and Riptide respectively, both have written enduring hits whose value has increased markedly thanks to a boom in the multiples being paid for musicians’ back catalogues (in which the $300 million Sony paid to Bob Dylan this year for the rights to his songs is just the tip of the iceberg).

Keogh’s manager Jaddan Comerford debuts with an estimated $35 million. The son of Bakers Delight franchisees, Comerford started what would become Unified Music Group in 2001.

To survive during a period when piracy was decimating the music business, he built up multiple income streams including tour promotion and merchandising, as well as publishing and a record label. Unified will turn over about $30 million this year.

The number of creative types on this year’s Young Rich List has been further bolstered by Gerry Sakkas and Aaron Pasias, the co-founders of video game developer Playside.

Gerry Sakkas is behind Playside, which listed on the ASX on December. Josh Robenstone

Founded in 2012 and funded in part by Sakkas’ $15,000 redundancy cheque from American giant – and now competitor – EA Games, Playside listed on the ASX in December.

It publishes its own games as well as others developed in collaboration with major studios including Disney, Pixar, Warner Bros and Nickelodeon, and turned profitable in 2021-22 with revenue of $30 million and net profit of $5 million.

It was a single canny investment that propelled Rayn Ong on to the Young Rich List. After moving from Malaysia to Australia in 2010, Ong became an early employee of e-commerce unicorn BigCommerce, before his new father-in-law decided to take a punt on him helping to diversify the family’s money out of property and into the new economy.

Ong took a six-figure sum and put it into Blackbird Ventures’ first fund, which closed in 2014 and caught four unicorns in Canva, SafetyCulture, CultureAmp and Zoox.

That “life-changing” windfall has since been parlayed by tireless networker Ong into direct angel investments such as Instaclustr and Propeller Aero. In June, Ong launched his own fund, Archangel, and is active in programs to educate new angel investors.

Mina and Scott O’Neill are new members of the Young Rich List for 2022. 

And what Young Rich List would be complete without at least some debutants from the industry built on Australia’s national pastime, property investment?

Scott and Mina O’Neill launched commercial buyers agency Rethink Investing seven years ago, and have helped more than 3000 clients purchase more than $2.5 billion worth of real estate. They were initially residential property investors before branching out into commercial real estate to chase better yields.

The couple bought their first commercial property in Perth in 2015. They now own 26 investment properties in Queensland, Western Australia and NSW. They’re based in Sydney but also have a home in Greece, where Mina’s family is from, and spend three months there every Australian winter.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend that you obtain financial, legal and taxation advice before making any decision.

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