Rich Dudes│Ryan Petersen's $750M Net Worth Success Story
Rich Dudes│Ryan Petersen's $750M Net Worth Success Story

Rich Dudes│Ryan Petersen's $750M Net Worth Success Story

Flexport Inc. co-CEO Ryan Petersen has revolutionized the logistics and freight forwarding industry and made an estimated net worth of $750 million. Here’s how he invests.







Ryan Petersen is a world-class entrepreneur, investor, and global logistics chief. He founded Flexport Inc., a San Francisco-based tech platform for global logistics, freight forwarding, and customs brokerage and is worth an estimated $750 million.

In recent years, Flexport Inc. has grown into a multinational corporation and offers additional services like supply chain management, order management, trade financing, general management, and insurance.

With his nine percent stake in the company, Ryan Petersen is well on his way to becoming a billionaire.

Over time, Flexport has expanded to over 18 global offices with more than 2,500 employees and serves over 10,000 customers and suppliers across 109 countries as of 2019. The company doubled its revenue to nearly $450 million that year, making it one of the fastest growing global trade companies.

Petersen's hard work and passion have made Flexport blossom into a $3.3 billion behemoth, which moved almost $19 billion of merchandise across 112 countries in 2021.

Ryan Petersen net worth at a glance

Net worth

$750 Million




American born in Bethesda, Maryland

Became a millionaire at



Freight forwarder, startup founder

Sources of wealth

ImportGenius, Flexport

Asset classes

Startups, stocks, crypto

How Ryan Petersen made his money

Ryan Petersen started his entrepreneurial journey as a kid selling sodas to his mother’s food safety company in Bethesda, Maryland. But it didn't end there. In the late 1990s, Petersen—a senior in high school—teamed up with his brother and a friend to start a business selling gadgets and toys on eBay.

Petersen’s company was one of the earliest Alibaba arbitragers. Their innovative business model imported goods directly from China and soon enjoyed annual revenues of over $5 million.

Petersen went on to earn his degree in economics from the University of California, Berkeley. Meanwhile, his team continued to build up their experience in search engine optimization, online ads, and e-commerce design and implementation.

With his focus shifting to the global shipping of heavier goods, Petersen moved to China for business. In his time there, Petersen gained valuable insights that would later make his business exceedingly profitable. It was there that he realized that all shipping manifests for goods entering the U.S. were public records and could be indexed.

Petersen and his team (his brother and Michael Kanko) capitalized on this stream of data and launched in 2008, which leveraged 380 million bills of landing to analyze what’s being imported.

This enabled their clients—primarily importers and exporters—to track goods and determine shipping costs without the fear of getting ripped off. It quickly became a colossal feat and has allowed Petersen to make an impact as an entrepreneur. Petersen is still involved as co-founder of ImportGenius.

In 2013, Petersen founded Flexport in the San Francisco Bay area and it started growing rapidly. Flexport started making waves in Silicon Valley and now competes with industry giants in the multi-trillion-dollar global logistics sector.

In 2020, Flexport received venture capital of over $2 billion in investments from notable Y Combinator partners like Reddit and SoftBank. The following year, Flexport's sales had increased to $3.3 billion, resulting in Ryan Petersen’s net worth reaching an estimated $750 million.

In February 2022, Flexport announced it had raised $935 million in Series E funding, more than tripling its 2019 valuation to nearly $8 billion. With his nine percent stake in the company, Ryan Petersen is well on his way to becoming a billionaire. This is no small feat, given how supply-chain issues have plagued almost every industry.

Flexport became shipping’s savior during the pandemic by offering freight forwarding discounts to help deliver PPE like surgical masks and medical gloves. Flexport's achievements are a testament to Ryan Petersen's intelligence, foresight, and management skills.

How Ryan Petersen invests

Flexport founder Ryan Petersen made his net worth by using technology to solve some of the shipping industry's problems. His company has innovated the user experience, reduced the costs of customer calls, and introduced simplicity to complex logistics processes.

As a result, he focuses on investing in technology, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation, to make the freight forwarding process more efficient and cost-effective.

Ryan also invests in early-stage startups that have a strong focus on transforming traditional logistics and leveraging technology to improve upon the traditional supply chain, such as shippers, carriers, and customs brokers. Some of these companies are Better Stack, Repool, Pulley, Meight, and TruckSmarter, to mention a few.

Ryan Petersen is also an investor in over 100 fast-growing tech companies including SpaceX, Robinhood, Anduril, Verkada, Checkr, Rippling, Lambda School, Newfront, Padlet, and Expanse.


Flexport has raised serious cash from loans and multiple funding rounds. Its most recent Series E round valued the company between $7.065 and $8 billion, according to CB insights. It also reports that Flexport made $471 million in revenue in 2018 and took out a $200 million line of credit in October 2022.

According to Forbes, the estimated value of Petersen's stake in Flexport is worth around $650 million. If we estimate this according to Flexport’s current stock price on secondary markets using the same methodology, Ryan Petersen’s net worth could be in excess of $1.1 billion.

Flexport founder Ryan Petersen established himself as an innovator in the shipping industry, leading the company to an $8 billion valuation.

Flexport has experienced massive growth in the digital freight forwarding market over the past eight years despite not owning any trains, planes, or ships. Yet, the company is one of the leading purchasers of cargo rooms on routes across the Pacific.


While working to ensure the progress and growth of Flexport, Ryan Petersen also invested in a number of tech companies. His portfolio has exposure to SpaceX, Robinhood, Anduril, and many others.


Ryan Petersen confirmed on Twitter that cryptocurrency was part of Flexport’s $1.6 billion balance sheet. Though he did not divulge what fraction was allocated to Bitcoin, he assured that the company’s HODLings aren’t insignificant.

Ryan Petersen investing quotes 

Flexport CEO and ImportGenius co-founder Ryan Petersen’s focus on dominating the global trade sector has paved the way for him to become a billionaire. Here are some pages of wisdom you can rip from his book.

1. Never give up

2. Set yourself up for success

3. You'll never know until you try