The Nikola Motor Company recently had a very successful IPO. That should please everybody who owns stock in the company, but few are likely to be happier than Trevor Milton, the 38-year-old who founded the company almost a decade ago and currently serves as its CEO. That's because thanks largely to his stake in the company, he is now the world's newest multi-multi-billionaire.
After the first day of trading, Trevor Milton was left with a $4.6 billion net worth. Fast forward a week, he's worth $10 billion.
While many such company founders have been known to cash out after a big IPO, Milton told CNBC in a recent interview that he intends to stay onboard. For one thing, the terms of his stake have it that he couldn't sell his shares in Nikola for at least a year. And besides that, he says he's got at least a five-year plan as to where he wants Nikola to be in the near future:
"My number one goal right now is to execute this vision…It's hard. It's going to take a good five years."
In some ways Milton has a typical story for a successful entrepreneur. He dropped out of college after a year in order to focus on starting his own business. His first was a security system brand that he sold a few years after he founded it in 2003, and he was also behind an unsuccessful venture in the retail business before founding Nikola. In fact, in a video posted several months ago on the official Nikola YouTube channel, Milton says that Nikola was the sixth company he's founded. He also says that Nikola's hydroelectric trucks come out of an idea that he had when he was just six years old – you can take a look below:
Milton made headlines earlier this year along with his company, when Nikola was reported to have taken out a $4 million Paycheck Protection Program loan despite the company's high valuation at that point. Milton said that the loan was necessary to keep the business afloat leading up to the IPO, and that his company is essentially "a small business" with relatively low cash reserves.
As of this writing (June 9, 2:30 PM pst), NKLA's market cap is $28 billion. That makes it more valuable than Chipotle. Nikola has zero revenue. Chipotle had $5.6 billion in revenue in 2019.