Chamath Palihapitiya, Austin Russell and Mat Ishbia are all new to this year's list thanks to SPACs. Brendan McDermid/Reuters/Newscom, Michael Prince for Forbes, Jacob Lewkow for Forbes SPAC IPOs have raised $180 billion since the beginning of 2020, helping both sponsors and founders get rich quickly, but the boom has yielded relatively few new billionaires. Taking a company public has long been a symbol of success for an entrepreneur, and Wall Street’s favorite craze of the last 12 months helped numerous founders reap the monetary rewards of an IPO while enduring a fraction of the bureaucratic red tape. SPACs, or special purpose acquisition companies, go public with no business operations, and use the funds raised to acquire private companies. In 2020, 248 SPAC IPOs raised a total of $83 billion, according to SPACInsider, nearly double the total proceeds SPACs generated over the previous ten years combined. And the first three months of 2021 have already exceeded that total, with $97 billion raised in nearly 300 SPAC IPOs. These blank-check firms, typically sponsored by financial deal-makers and buttered with hedge fund cash, minted 10 new billionaires over the past year. SPAC IPOs are popular because they tend to be easy wins for ...read more...