Niklas Zennstrom
Internet, Software
Rank 2017

Skype, the video chat and voice call service, was co-founded by London-based Swede Zennstrom, 51, who received hefty windfalls after share sales in 2005 and 2010. His Mayfair venture capital operation Atomico has raised £617m to invest in about 25 new tech start-ups and put money into more than 80 companies, including a motoring website launched by former Top Gear presenters Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May. Zennstrom studied engineering and computer science at university in Sweden before starting the file-sharing service Kazaa in 1999 and selling it three years later. A competitive and successful sailor, Zennstrom is also at the helm of European Tech Alliance, an IT group seeking to accelerate the digital economy.