Monday 28 May 2018

Nigel Eccles (41) is the highest new entry on the list. He grew up on a dairy farm in Tyrone before moving to the States to work with McKinsey. During the 2008 US Presidential election he set up a news prediction site Hubdub with his wife Lesley to forecast the result, state by state.

They were bang on the money with their predictions, but financially it was a dud. However, the same principle was applied to sport with outrageous success. Eccles developed Fanduel, a fantasy football and baseball site, which enables fans to make money off forecasting US sports.

Fantasy sports are a huge and fast-growing business in the US and Fanduel and rival Draftkings have about 96pc of the market. Last year Fanduel raised $275m from KKR, Google Capital and Time Warner/Turner Sports, valuing the company at €1.3bn last July, making it a bona fide "unicorn" or a private tech firm that has reached valuation of more than €1bn.

Since it was set up in 2009, it has raised $363m from investors. Eccles co-founders are thought to hold a significant minority stake. Revenues are set to pass $2bn this year.

Online Editors

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business