How a 23-year-old turned a $500 loan into $570 million company

By Personal Finance FOXBusiness

The next Mark Zuckerberg? How a 19-year-old entrepreneur created a digital empire

People are calling him the next Mark Zuckerberg; Brandon Evertz, a 23-year-old entrepreneur, started a video review site from camper van, which is now estimated to be worth around $500 million today.

In less than four years, Brandon Evertz, a 23-year-old Australian, has built a massive social media review site worth an estimated $570 million, from a small loan that his father gave him.

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“The very first proof of concept money I got was $500 from my dad and with that I tested out the idea I had and I was able to generate about $8,000 from businesses right away,” Evertz, the CEO of Big Review TV told FOX Business.

Evertz, who was 19 years old at the time, said after that, he decided to bypass college and pursue his dream head on. Today, his company, where he still resides as the CEO, operates in seven countries, including the U.S., and hosts more than 30,000 user-created videos.

In 2014, a year after the company officially launched, it was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange under his father’s company, Big Unlimited.

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“The company has been nearly listed for three years now and growth has been about 50% revenue growth quarter-for-quarter. So, for the Australian market that is kind of rare to see for a tech company,” he added.

According to News.com.au, the company also reported a net positive cash flow for the first time in 2017. Additionally, last month, Big Unlimited announced that it has acquired a Southern California-based review and reward application company, Tipsly, to help it ease into the U.S. market.

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“We actually [have] been in the U.S. for 12 months now and we have over 1,500 businesses so far and then we recently acquired a business called Tipsly. The acquisition was really to help beef up our tech for mobile applications and what came with that acquisition is a 100,000 SME relationships in the U.S. So, what we are going to start to do is on-sale our prescription model packages into those in the next 24 months,” he said.

Big Review TV says Evertz is essentially a “video version of TripAdvisor,” where businesses can post a social video of its products and services so customers can write a review.

Evertz said while it very flattering to be compared to the likes of Facebook CEO (FB) Mark Zuckerberg or Snapchat CEO (SNAP) Evan Spiegel, he still has a long way to go.

“Young Australian entrepreneurs are kind of rare compared to the American market. There are so many young entrepreneurs popping up all the time, everywhere. However, the culture is only slowly starting to come through [in Australia]. Super successful entrepreneurs, though, I haven’t seen too many of them here.”

His best advice for a young entrepreneurs looking to build their own business is to simply find the right backers to invest in the company.