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Smile! One of Wall Street’s worst IPOs creates 30-year-old billionaires

WeWork’s Adam Neumann has seen the value of his stake drop by more than $US10 billion, at least on paper, as Wall Street tempered expectations for the office-sharing company amid lingering corporate-governance concerns. On Tuesday, exercise-bike maker Peloton Interactive said it planned to offer 40 million shares to raise more than $US1 billion, which would give co-founder John Foley a $US450 million fortune.

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And on Friday, shares of cybersecurity-software developer CloudFlare surged 20 per cent to $US18 on its first day trading on the New York Stock Exchange. That boosted the stakes of CEO Matthew Prince and fellow co-founder and operating chief Michelle Zatlyn to $US679 million and $US262 million, respectively.

SmileDirectClub’s young founders join the growing ranks of young self-made billionaires like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, 35, and Snap’s Evan Spiegel, 29.

Despite WeWork’s flagging fortunes, Neumann, 40, will still be a billionaire three times over if the company goes public with a market capitalisation of $US15 billion, down from the $US47 billion valuation it reached in a private capital raising at the beginning of the year.


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