Richest Business
Net Worth:
$300 Million
Aug 8, 1971 (52 years old)
New York City
United States of America
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What is Sky Dayton's net worth?

Sky Dayton is an American entrepreneur who has a net worth of $300 million. Sky Dayton built his fortune as the co-founder of the Internet service provider EarthLink. He went on to co-found eCompanies and found Boingo Wireless, among other companies. Dayton has also invested in numerous tech companies over the years, including Diffbot, Joby Aviation, and Ring.

Early Life and Education

Sky Dayton was born on August 8, 1971 in New York City to poet and flutist Alice Pero and sculptor Wendell Dayton. Shortly after he was born, the family moved to Los Angeles. Dayton lived for a time with his maternal grandfather David DeWitt, an IBM Fellow who played a formative part in introducing Dayton to the world of technology. Dayton received his first computer, a Sinclair ZX81, when he was nine years old. He was educated at the Delphian School in Oregon, a private boarding school that uses the study techniques of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Aspiring to be an animator, Dayton applied to CalArts, but was rejected for being too young.

Career Beginnings

In lieu of going to college, Dayton began an entry-level job at an advertising firm in Burbank, California. Within three months, he was heading the firm's graphics department. Dayton eventually moved to a larger advertising firm, Mednick & Associates.

When he was 19, Dayton launched his own business with funds from family and friends: an art gallery and coffee house in Los Angeles called Mocha Gallery. While managing the business, he and his friend Adam Wicks Walker opened an advertising and design firm in Studio City. The firm served such high-profile entertainment clients as Disney, Warner Brothers, and Columbia Pictures.

In 1993, Dayton saw the Internet as the next big thing in mass communication. Seeking to create a simple, user-friendly dial-up Internet service provider, he co-founded EarthLink in 1994 with Kevin O'Donnell and Reed Slatkin. EarthLink soon attracted investments from Greg B. Abbott, Robert Kavner, and Chip Lacy, among others. By the summer of 1995, the company reached a deal with UUNET allowing it to provide its service nationwide. EarthLink grew exponentially over the subsequent years, and in 1998 it became the default Internet service provider pre-loaded on the iMac. This led to a $200 million investment in the company by Apple. Soon, EarthLink was the second largest Internet service provider in the United States, behind only AOL. It was also the first ISP to provide nationwide high-speed Internet access via DSL.

Sky Dayton net worth

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Dayton co-founded another company, eCompanies, in 1999. An incubator and venture capital fund for the development of Internet companies, it successfully launched the consumer finance website and the video game development studio JAMDAT Mobile. Dayton and eCompanies also purchased the domain name for $7.5 million during the height of the dotcom bubble; the domain was later sold to RH Donnelly for $345 million.

Boingo Wireless

In 2001, Dayton founded Boingo Wireless, which designs, builds, and manages wireless networks for airports, stadiums, transit stations, hospitals, commercial properties, and more. The company's model operates by aggregating Wi-Fi hotspots around the world into a single network. Boingo Wireless went public in 2011, raising $77.9 million. Dayton remained chairman of the company until 2014.

Other Business Ventures

Dayton has been involved in a myriad of other business ventures over the years. In 2005, he became the CEO of Helio, a mobile virtual network operator created as a joint venture between EarthLink and SK Telecom. Dayton became Helio's chairman in early 2008 ahead of the company's acquisition by Virgin Mobile USA. Elsewhere, he joined the boards of the digital education company Age of Learning and the semantic web and structure data startup Diffbot, in which he's also invested.

Among his other ventures, Dayton co-founded City Storage Systems and CloudKitchens. The former company, which rehabs real estate, was quickly acquired by Uber founder Travis Kalanick. Meanwhile, as an investor, Dayton has invested in the online art marketplace Artsy; the NASA LeapTech participant Joby Aviation; home security company Ring; and the micro satellite startup Swarm Technologies. The lattermost company was acquired by Elon Musk's SpaceX in the summer of 2021.


In 1999, Dayton was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business. The same year, he was named to the MIT Technology Review TR100, a list of the top 100 innovators worldwide under the age of 35.

Personal Life

With his wife, novelist Arwen Elys Dayton, Dayton has three children. The family resides in the Pacific Northwest, where Dayton likes to surf and play poker.

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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