KEY POINTS

  • Dietrich Mateschitz has a net worth of $27.3 billion
  • He discovered Krating Daeng in Thailand in the 1980s
  • Red Bull sold 7.5 million cans in 2019

Dietrich Mateschitz’s net worth is around $27.3 billion. Here is how the Red Bull founder built his massive fortune.

Call it luck or fate but Mateschitz appeared to be destined for greatness. He was vacationing in Thailand more than three decades ago when he stumbled upon a drink that was unique and even cured his hangover. Fascinated by the strange drink, the Austrian sought a discussion with the founder and manufacturers, believing it had the potential to appeal to the Western consumers. 

Mateschitz partnered with Chaleo Yoovidhya, the creator of the drink and offered a $500,000 investment and 49 percent share. He tweaked the formula to cater to the taste of global consumers. In 1987, Red Bull GmbH was born. The energy drink became popular in 1997 when the company expanded in the U.S. 

Track and trace: Red Bull's Thai driver Alex Albon (right) inspects the circuit on Thursday Track and trace: Red Bull's Thai driver Alex Albon (right) inspects the circuit on Thursday Photo: AFP / JOE KLAMAR

Red Bull is now considered a powerhouse in the sports industry. With a promise of "Red Bull gives you wings," the energy drink became synonymous to adrenaline-rush activities such as football with teams Red Bull Salzburg and the New York Red Bulls and racing with Formula 1 team Red Bull Racing led by drivers Max Verstappen and Alex Albon. The company also has a deal with Toro Rosso, which is the Italian name for Red Bull. 

On the other hand, some of the world class athletes who represented the brand in the past were Blake Griffin, Rajon Rondo, Reggie Bush and Bubba Stewart. 

Formerly known as “Krating Daeng," Red Bull also sponsors events such as Cliff Diving Championships and Drifting Races. It has faced increased competition in recent years with the launch of Monster Energy Drink and Rockstar Energy Drink. According to Forbes, the company was able to sell about 7.5 million cans in 2019, a proof that it remains on top of the most preferred energy drinks in the world. 

The 76-year-old billionaire spends his fortune by buying a Fiji island for $13 million and transforming the island into a resort for $30 million. Per Celebrity Net Worth, the University of Vienna graduate is also ready to help those in need. In 2012, he donated $92 million to charities. 

Despite Chaleo Yoovidhya’s passing in 2012, Red Bull continues to perform well and exceed expectations due to the leadership of the co-founder. From someone who used to sell shampoos as Blendax’s marketing manager, Mateschitz indeed has come a long way. He realized an opportunity when it presented itself and helped build an empire for an energy drink that was once only known in the Southeast Asian country.