Richard Branson Net Worth 2021: How Did He Make His Money?

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 12:  Sir Richard Branson celebrates Virgin Blue's 10th Anniversary in Australia at Melbourne Airport on September 12, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia.
Robert Prezioso / Getty Images

The conglomerate the Virgin Group either operates or previously operated numerous businesses, including Virgin Mobile, Virgin Records and Virgin Megastore, Virgin-brand hotels and airlines, and Virgin Galactic. The company employs more than 60,000 people in these sectors: travel and leisure; telecommunications and media; music and entertainment; financial services; and health and wellness.[x]And the man responsible for that global operation is billionaire Richard Branson.

Click to read about 15 secrets for success from Richard Branson.

Richard Branson Net Worth: $4.6 Billion

Richard Branson has a net worth of $4.6 billion, according to Forbes. The majority of his wealth likely comes from the capital produced by Virgin’s dozens of brands, such as Virgin Galactic. His company’s venture capital portfolio includes Twitter, Slack, Pinterest and Square. But Branson’s biggest undertaking — and possibly his biggest future money-maker — is out of this world.

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Branson’s Wealth Could Grow Astronomically in the Next 10 Years

Virgin Galactic, the space tourism company of which Branson is also CEO, took the boss to space on July 11, 2021, when he became the first billionaire to take a ride on a spacecraft he helped to pay for. Nine days later, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos followed suit when he took a ride on his Blue Origin New Shepard rocket.

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The value of the publicly traded Virgin Galactic likely will rise as the company prepares to sell seats to space tourists as a commercial venture, which is expected in 2022.

“We’re here to make space more accessible to all,” Branson said after his space excursion. “We want to turn the next generation of dreamers into the astronauts of today and tomorrow. … We’d love it if a number of you can have it, too. If you ever had a dream, now is the time to make it come true. I’d like to end by saying welcome to the dawn of a new space age.”

How Branson Grew the Virgin Group

Richard Branson initially ran Virgin as a mail-order record retailer in 1970. He expanded the business first into a record store, then into a recording studio, at which point everything changed.

The Virgin label’s first artist was Mike Oldfield, who recorded the classic instrumental progressive album “Tubular Bells” in 1972-73. Branson would later sign rock icons such as the Sex Pistols and the Rolling Stones, cementing Virgin as an authority on music.

Branson expanded his brand into the travel industry with Virgin Atlantic in 1984. He since has built even more travel-focused companies such as Virgin America and Virgin Holidays.

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Richard Branson’s Advice to Entrepreneurs

An experienced investor and businessman, Branson isn’t afraid to dole out advice to those he thinks need it. In late 2018, he said Tesla CEO Elon Musk should get some sleep.

“He’s a wonderfully creative person but he shouldn’t be getting very little sleep,” Branson told CNBC, adding that Musk needs to “learn the art of delegation.” Helpful words from Branson, given that Musk’s SpaceX company is another of his space flight competitors.

Sean Dennison contributed to the reporting for this article.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

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About the Author

Jami Farkas holds a communications degree from California State University, Fullerton, and has worked as a reporter or editor at daily newspapers in all four corners of the United States. She brings to GOBankingRates experience as a sports editor, business editor, religion editor, digital editor — and more. With a passion for real estate, she passed the real estate licensing exam in her state and is still weighing whether to take the plunge into selling homes — or just writing about selling homes.
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