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African Billionaire Mohammed Dewji Kidnapped in Dar Es Salaam

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Mohammed Dewji

Mohammed Dewji, believed to be the youngest billionaire in Africa, was kidnapped during his regular gym visit in the early hours of Thursday, October 11, 2018. According to BBC Africa correspondent Athuman Mtulya, kidnappings in Tanzania are very rare, reporting:

“Although Tanzania has seen a wave [of] attacks and abductions of opposition politicians and perceived government critics, this is the first time a businessman of Mr Dewji’s standing has been kidnapped in the country.”

Arrests have been made and foreign nationals are understood to be involved in the kidnapping. But the whereabouts of “Mo” Dewji, are as yet unknown. Mohammed Dewji had driven himself to the gym at a luxury hotel in Dar Es Salaam when he was abducted around 6.30 am.

Philanthropist Mohammed Dewji

Like many mega-wealthy individuals, Dewji announced in 2016 that he would be giving away up to half of his assets to philanthropic causes. He set up the Mo Dewji foundation to help educate the children of Tanzania and provide affordable health care.

“At the Mo Dewji Foundation we believe that education is the greatest gift you can give a person… The youth of Tanzania are our future and by improving and providing education we can build a better, brighter Tanzania for tomorrow.”

Dewji served for 10 years as a politician before stepping down in 2015 and is something of a celebrity in Tanzania. In 2018, his wealth was estimated at $1.5 billion and he owns the MeTL group of companies.

MeTL (Mohammed Enterprises Tanzania Limited) was founded by Dewji’s father and he joined the business after graduating from Georgetown University in the USA. He majored in international business and finance, graduating in 1998.

MeTL is the largest privately owned business in Tanzania with interests in manufacturing, import, export, financial services, farming, agriculture, telecoms, and real estate.

Personal Safety

MoneyMakers recently reported how US billionaires were fitting out their swanky pads in the Hamptons with luxury safe rooms, fearing they might be the target of gang violence.  Thus far, Dewji has been very open about his future engagements having recently taken to Twitter to promote the publication of his sister’s book.

Politicians and celebrities are normally quite guarded about their future itineraries for fear of attack and now it seems entrepreneurs will also need to be more careful. No doubt his wife and children are praying for his swift and safe return.

Featured image by Gonzalezbarbara.

Financial analyst and technical writer with a keen interest in bringing blockchain technology to the masses.

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Billionaires

Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes Buys Australia’s Most Expensive Home

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Mike Cannon Brookes

Despite all the worry over Australian home prices, it didn’t take Mike Cannon-Brookes long to spend a pile on the Fairwater estate in Sydney’s Point Piper. The home was recently vacated by Mary Fairfax, who died a little over a year ago. The home has been in the Fairfax family for more than 100 years, and now it looks like Mike Cannon-Brookes will be raising his family in the 11,000+ square-meter property.

The actual sales price for Fairwater hasn’t been disclosed, but it is thought to have sold for more than $100 million USD. That would make it the highest price paid for a home in Australia by a wide margin.

The previous record was set when the house next door to Fairwater sold to the other Atlassian co-founder, Scott Farquhar, last year. Mr. Farquhar paid $71 million USD for the property, called “Elaine,” which had also been the property of the Fairfax family.

Unlike Elaine, Fairwater has sat unoccupied for the last 25 years or so and was seldom used by Lady Fairfax. Despite the remodeling that is sure to begin soon, Mike Cannon-Brookes is happy to have made the purchase. In a statement, he said that:

“We are delighted with the purchase of Fairwater for our young family and look forward to continuing the legacy of this beautiful Sydney home… We love the idea of raising our four young children in this historic property.”

Fairwater

Fairwater, image by Wikipedia

Big Money in Sydney

Atlassian has been a massive success for Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar. The pair met while attending the University of New South Wales. In 2002 they used $10,000 in credit card debt to found Atlassian. The company has grown into a global presence, and in 2017 Atlassian created revenues in excess of $600 million USD.

Their most popular product is Jira, which was introduced in 2002. Jira started life as a bug tracking software that is still used by software developers all over the world. According to Atlassian, more than 75,000 companies in 122 countries use Jira. It has evolved into a project management tool that has expanded beyond software development.

Given the taste in real estate the founders have, Atlassian will have to keep doing well. The property taxes on a $100 million dollar property have to be eye-watering. The two co-founders have made off like bandits in the wake of Atlassian’s IPO in late 2015.

Like many companies in the tech space, equity investors can’t seem to get enough of Atlassian shares. Even after the shares fell sharply earlier this week on a revenue disappointment, they are still up by more than 100% over the last 12 months at the time of writing. They saw their adjusted quarterly earnings rise by more than 50% YOY, which may help to justify their current valuation.

Investors Love Atlassian

Last year Atlassian lost around 50 cents a share, which makes paying nearly 20 billion dollars for their platform a little rough. Despite the increasing competition from other project management platforms, most notably Slack, there are many in the investment world that see Mike Cannon-Brookes’ company as a herald of things to come.

Atlassian stock 6 months

Atlassian stock 6 month period

Tim Garratt is a partner at Bailie Gifford, a Scottish fund that owns hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Atlassian’s equity. He told the Sydney Morning Herald that:

“Mike Cannon-Brookes has a focus on the next coming decades rather than the next quarter or two. He’s prepared to invest for the long term and we are strongly supportive of that approach… We see the long-term potential for Atlassian to service a hundred million users across the world […]So it is still early days for this exciting business and we’re looking forward to seeing how it develops over the next decade and beyond.”

Despite the optimism that Mike Cannon-Brookes has generated from investors who are already riding high on triple digits yearly gains, his company has something of a spotty record when it comes to gender issues.

A few years ago, one of Atlassian’s employees decided to compare a new piece of software to a complaining girlfriend, which did nothing to sure up the image of an industry that is constantly being accused of a latent gender bias. While Mike Cannon-Brookes scolded the employee after the presentation went viral, he actually gave the offending presentation himself at a conference!

The gaffe clearly hasn’t dented investor confidence in the company, and Atlassian remains one of the biggest software development tools out there today. If Mike Cannon-Brookes’ luck holds up, he may be able to hold on to his brand new house on the water in Sydney.

Featured image by TEDx Sydney

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