Richest BusinessCEOs
Net Worth:
$300 Million
Date of Birth:
Jun 5, 1978 (45 years old)
Place of Birth:
D├╝sseldorf, Germany
Angel investor, entrepreneur
­čĺ░ Compare Fabian Thylmann's Net Worth

What is Fabian Thylmann's net worth?

Fabian Thylmann is a German adult internet entrepreneur, software engineer and investor who has a net worth of $300 million. Fabian Thylmann earned his net worth as the founder and former CEO of adult website conglomerate Manwin, which is now known as MindGeek. Fabian became a porn kingpin after creating an affiliate tracking software that would prove to be revolutionary for the adult world. Fabian eventually sold his stake in the software, which is called NATS and is still very much in-use today, and proceeded to roll-up hundreds of adult brands. This roll-up eventually became the largest adult website conglomerate in history. In 2013 Fabian sold his share of Manwin to senior management for $100 million at a time when he was facing tax evasion charges. The company was subsequently rebranded as MindGeek. MindGeek continues to be one of the largest internet empires in history. Today its brands include Brazzers, RedTube, YouPorn, Xtube, Reality Kings and Pornhub. The exact combined monthly traffic of these brands is not known, but it has been estimated at the tens of billions of monthly visitors. Despite being the most powerful person in the adult industry at one time, Thylmann reportedly lives a very normal life with a wife and two kids. He is now an angel investor who operates out of Belgium and runs a start-up incubator.


Fabian Thylmann was born in June 5, 1978 in Dusseldorf, Germany. He started programming at the age of 17 and soon found himself conversing in chat rooms with owners of adult websites. One of the most common complaints at the time among adult webmasters was their inability to receive proper credit for referring a customer who signed up for a paid account or purchased a product. Som in the late 1990s, Fabian set out to solve that problem.

His solution was a piece of software he called "NATS" which stood for "Next-generation Affiliate Tracking Software." NATS finally allowed advertisers to track when users clicked their affiliate ads so they could be paid a commission for the sale referral. It was revolutionary at the time, especially for adult sites which had been blocked from the traditional online display advertising business and desperately needed a way to track who deserved a commission for generating a sale or a subscription sign up.


Fabian's contribution to NATS earned him a small windfall. More importantly, the software's backend admin gave him an unprecedented behind-the-scenes view "God-view" of the entire adult website commerce industry. He could see exactly which websites were actually making money, how much money, and from what ads that were leading to the actual sales. With these insights, he decided to buy his own adult site. His first acquisition was a German site called PrivatAmateure.

In 2006 Thylmann sold his stake in the umbrella company that owned NATS. With even more money in the bank, his buying-spree accelerated, but now his acquisitions were much bigger. One of his biggest acquisitions during this period was Xtube.

While Thlymann was busy rolling-up the adult internet ecosystem, over in Montreal, Canada, two entrepreneurs, Stephane Manos and Ouissam Youssef were operating their own adult empire, with their two crown jewel properties Brazzers and Pornhub. They operated their empire under the corporate named "Mansef", which is a portmanteau of their respective last names, Mansos + Youssef.


In March 2010 Thylmann paid $140 million for and its related properties, including Brazzers. After the acquisition, Thylmann changed the company's name from Mansef to Manwin.

In 2011, Manwin raised over $360 million from a conglomerate of over 100 investors that included Clobeck Capital, Fortress Investment Group, Cornell University and JP Morgan. With a new war chest in the bank, Fabian and Manwin proceeded to go on yet another supercharged shopping spree for adult properties.

In November of 2011, Manwin acquired the digital rights to Playboy Enterprises for an undisclosed – but reportedly very large – amount of money. This 15-year licensing deal gave Manwin the right to operate Playboy's digital assets including as well as Playboy TV and Playboy Plus. This meant, any time someone went to expecting to see the latest Playmate they would more likely see extremely NSFW ads funneling visitors to hardcore subscription porn sites. In 2014 Playboy regained rights to "at significant expense." However, today Playboy TV and the Playboy Plus subscription service are still controlled by Manwin, under its current corporate name, MindGeek.

In January 2012 Manwin acquired the assets of adult studio Digital Playground. In April 2012 the company acquired Reality Kings. In June 2012 the company acquired

In July 2013 Man win acquired RedTube.

Fabian Thylmann net worth

Fabian Thylmann (Photo by Thomas Frey/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Arrest and Tax Evasion Charges

In December 2012, Fabian Thylmann was arrested on tax evasion charges. He was arrested in Belgium and extradited to Germany amid allegations that he avoided paying taxes on the revenues from his adult empire. German tax authorities alleged that Fabian was earning $100 million per year on his global empire but avoided local taxes by passing much of his revenues and expenses through shell corporations located on tax friendly islands like Cyprus and Curacao.

He denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight the tax case. The controversy ultimately resulted in Fabian agreeing to sell his stake in Manwin to senior managers in the company for $100 million. The charges were dropped when he agreed to pay 5 million Euro fine to settle back taxes and penalties.


After selling his empire to Manwin's senior management $100 million, Manwin rebranded as MindGeek.

Today MindGeek owns some of the largest adult websites in the world including, Twistys, RedTube Brazzers,, and many more. Pornhub on its own is the 10th most-visited site on the internet.

MindGeek is legally based in Luxembourg but operates primarily out of Canada. The company has over 1,400 employees around the world working for many different properties and subsidiaries. At his peak, Fabian Thylmann's websites received more than 16 billion visits per month and earned over $400 million per year in revenue.


Fabian owns a nightclub in Cologne called Bootshaus. In June 2021 Bootshaus was named "Club of the Year" at the Live Entertainment Awards. The photo you see of Fabian in this article was taken at Boosthaus on the evening the received their award.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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