The world’s wealthiest YouTube content creator, MrBeast, is seeking a $1.5 billion valuation for his studio and online brand.
Jimmy Donaldson, better known by his YouTube handle MrBeast, is planning to sell a small stake in his studio. A ten percent stake with an estimated value of $150 million would leave MrBeast with a ninety percent stake worth $1.4 billion, making him the first billionaire YouTuber.
With an estimated net worth of five hundred million dollars, Donaldson is already one of the most successful YouTubers of all time.
The meteoric rise of MrBeast
Donaldson, who is now twenty-four years old uploaded his first video on YouTube in 2012 at the age of thirteen. His early content was a mixture of Let’s Play video gaming, commentary on YouTube drama, and tips for other YouTubers.
By mid-2016, the young social media content creator began gaining traction with his videos. Based on his early success, Donaldson dropped out of East Carolina University to pursue a career as a full-time YouTuber.
As of now, the MrBeast YouTube channels have a combined total of 205 million subscribers. His main channel has about 125 million subscribers while his videos have a combined total of approximately thirty-one billion views. He is the most-subscribed-to YouTube content creator in the world.
MrBeast’s vast subscriber base and view count are lucrative. In 2021, he made an estimated thirty-two million dollars from ads across his YouTube accounts and nine million dollars from sponsored content, according to Forbes.
As the MrBeast brand has expanded, Donaldson has been able to spend increasingly large amounts of money on his videos. An average video created by the YouTube star costs approximately $1.5 million to $3 million to produce.
Many of the videos involve pranks or light-hearted stunts. For example, in one video, MrBeast is buried alive for fifty hours in a coffin. In another video, Donaldson spends fifty hours attempting to survive in Antarctica.
In many of his videos, MrBeast hands out large quantities of money to guests. In some cases, the YouTuber has given away between ten thousand to one million dollars. Guests in the videos are incentivized to complete certain tasks in order to entertain MrBeast’s YouTube audience and win prize money.
In one video, MrBeast had contestants competing in a Willy Wonka-inspired chocolate factory. The contestants had to stand on spinning peppermints for as long as possible. The last one standing took home five hundred thousand dollars and a brand new car.
Donaldson has also used his online persona to market a number of physical products and services to food industry businesses.
The first of these is the MrBeast Burger, founded in December 2020. The burger company initially started out as a delivery-only virtual restaurant amid the peak period of the pandemic. Since then, it has become the fastest growing restaurant brand in the US.
Following the success of MrBeast Burger, Donaldson created Feastables bars. Since being launched in January 2022, Feastables have become available in 4,700 Walmart stores. Venture investors have provided an estimated five million dollars for a twenty percent stake in the bars.