30yo University Dropout and Former Pizza Hut Driver Is Now Worth $1.1B


  • Ben Francis is a university dropout and former Pizza Hut delivery driver who founded Gymshark.
  • He founded the sportswear label in 2012 and turned it into a billion-dollar company.
  • The 30-year-old is up seven places to 184th on this year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

A decade ago Ben Francis had dropped out of college and was working as a Pizza Hut delivery driver. He’s now worth £900 million, or $1.1 billion, putting him up seven places to 184th on this year’s Sunday Times Rich List.

After leaving Aston University in Birmingham, England, Francis cofounded the sportswear company Gymshark.

The 30-year-old has since grown the business into a billion-dollar company, while his own wealth has soared to three times that of singer Ed Sheeran.

Writing for The Sunday Times in 2022, Francis noted some of Gymshark’s major milestones, including achieving “unicorn” status in 2020, which is when a company hits a valuation of at least $1 billion, “with no prior funding.”

He said the company had also expanded into the US, where it now has more than 100 employees in its Denver office.

Gymshark was his seventh attempt at setting up a successful business, he wrote in The Sunday Times: “I just wanted a website that would transact.”

So when Gymshark made its first profit of just £2, Francis said it felt like they’d “won the lottery.”

He and his cofounder, university friend Lewis Morgan, used everything they had to pay for a stand at the BodyPower Expo in 2013.

The pair were turning over about £300 a day at that time, Francis wrote. But after the expo, Gymshark was suddenly making sales of £30,000 in 30 minutes and he realized it could be something big.

The brand now has more than six million followers on Instagram.


Francis previously shared his morning routine with Insider, which includes waking up before 6 a.m. and “doing the same thing to the minute every day.”

The Gymshark cofounder also received an MBE, a British royal honour, earlier this year for his services to business.

Francis did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Insider, made outside normal working hours.


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