Gary Vaynerchuk, better known as Gary Vee, is a multi-millionaire, a successful entrepreneur, a highly-paid consultant, and the founder and CEO of several companies. As of 2023, Gary Vaynerchuk’s net worth is estimated at $300 million.
But, how did he make his millions?
Vaynerchuk might have started well-off with his family’s wine business, but fast forward a decade, and he’s an investor, a bestselling author, and the name behind brands like Empathy Wines and Vayner Media.
To learn more about the life and fortune of the “first wine guru of the YouTube era”, keep reading.
Gary Vee’s Net Worth Breakdown:
Determining Gary Vaynerchuk’s exact net worth is challenging because he doesn’t disclose information on his salary, earnings, or the sales he made over the years. While his success in the wine industry and the establishment of Vayner Media contribute significantly to his wealth, the specifics of his income sources remain somewhat elusive.
He may have made even more money from his NFT and crypto projects than all of his wine efforts combined but he hasn’t revealed much about how much he has made in either industry. Here is what we know:
|Contribution to Net Worth
|Empathy Wines sale
|$200,000+ per event
|Wine Library business
|$60 million in 2023
|Vayner Media annual revenue
|Investment in Facebook
|$200,000 (millions in return)
|Veefriends NFT sales, Crypto and NFT portfolio
|Hundreds of thousands of dollars per post
|Total net worth
Gary Vee’s Early Life
Gary Vaynerchuk was born on November 14, 1975. He was born in Babruysk, Belarus to his mother Tamara, and father Sasha Vaynerchuk. He has one sibling, a younger brother named AJ Vaynerchuk.
When Gary was 3 years old, in 1978, the family moved to the US. They lived in Queens, New York.
In New Jersey, Gary’s father worked in his family’s retail wine business, while Gary Vee set up his lemonade stand and traded baseball cards. At just 7 years old, he began earning pocket money, though it wasn’t much. By the time he hit 14, he had already jumped aboard the family wine business.
In 1998, Vaynerchuk obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Arts from Mount Ida College in Newton.
Gary Vaynerchuk married Lizzie Vaynerchuk in 2004, but the couple separated a few years back. They have 2 children together: Xander Avi Vaynerchuk and Misha Eva Vaynerchuk.
There was no official statement confirming the separation, but Vee has already posted about his relationship with Mona Vand, a nutrition coach, on social media.
Gary Vee Net Worth: Vaynerchuk’s Wine Career, Media Companies, and Other Ventures
Gary Vaynerchuk’s net worth has only grown over the years thanks to his smart business ventures and investments. Let’s dig into the story of how he turned his family’s wine business – and later his own ideas – into millions of dollars.
Gary Vaynerchuk and Wines
Gary Vaynerchuk had two highly profitable ventures in the wine industry.
Wine Library and Wine Library TV
When he graduated from college, Vaynerchuk was already working at his father’s wine business. He was promoted to oversee the daily operations of the company.
Because of his internet proficiency and marketing skills, the young entrepreneur concentrated on boosting the brand through social media. Before long, he introduced online sales, which proved to be a stroke of genius, making the brand a pioneer in alcohol ecommerce.
The store’s revenue grew from $3 million a year when he started in 1998, to $60 million in 2003.
In 2006, Gary Vaynerchuk decided to change the name of the store. What was previously “Shopper’s Discount Liquors” was now named “Wine Library”.
In that same year, Vaynerchuk decided to double down on digital marketing. He started a YouTube video channel called Wine Library TV (WLTV). For five consecutive years, he churned out daily episodes and garnered a growing audience on both YouTube and social media.
I hustled every day for 18 months before Wine Library TV clicked, but it was patience that won
WLTV featured wine tasting, reviews of wines, and advice. It was filmed at the Wine Library Store in Springfield.
WLTV made a whopping 1,000 episodes before Vaynerchuk retired it in 2011. During his time on Wine Library TV, he earned the support of many and was invited to appear on TV shows like Ellen Degeneres and Conan O’Brien.
In 2010, Gary Vee launched Wine & Web, a new show that paired wine tastings from WLTV in a Web of the Week segment. The segment aired on Sirius XM satellite radio and also covered trends, startups, and gadgets.
Come August 2011, the entrepreneur bid farewell to the wine business to venture into the media landscape.
The company still operates on the market today, but Gary Vee’s stake in it is unknown.
The next business success for Gary Vaynerchuk was Empathy Wines, a wine ecommerce brand that he co-founded with Nate Scherotter and Jon Troutman. Having spent many years in the wine industry at this point, the three partners decided to start producing high-quality, affordable wines.
The idea was to produce cheaper wines of top quality by saving on services like delivery and shipping. Vaynerchuk cut off the distributors, retailers, and importers, and created a company that shipped wines direct to the customer. He aged the wines in tanks and cut down a fortune on packaging costs.
In mere months, Empathy Wines had sold over 15,000 cases of its wine and had over 2,000 online subscribers.
A year later, Gary Vee sold Empathy Wines to Constellation Brands, the owner of Corona beer, for an unknown price.
Today, the brand has over 52,000 followers on Instagram.
Gary Vaynerchuk’s Media Companies
In addition to his wine businesses, Gary Vaynerchuk has profitable media brands.
Before Gary Vee left the wine business in 2011, he founded a new company with his brother, AJ Vaynerchuck. Vayner Media was born in 2009 and aimed to help brands with social media promotion. He announced that he was stepping down from Wine Library to focus on this brand.
Clients of Vayner Media include the NHL, GE, Anheuser-Busch, General Electric, and Pepsi.
In 2015, Vayner Media was named one of the A-List agencies by Ad Age. A year later, the company reached $100 million in revenue and had 600 people in its employment.
The company was growing at a whirlwind pace and drove sales through in-house consulting, paid media strategies, influencer marketing, and ecommerce.
As of today, the company boasts a workforce of over 800 employees and racks up an impressive annual revenue of $120 million, as reported by Zippia. Gary Vaynerchuk continues in his role as CEO of the firm.
In 2017, Gary’s vision expanded when he founded VaynerX. He formed Gallery Media Group, a VaynerX subsidiary brand that combines Pure Wow, a women’s magazine, and ONE37pm.com, a news outlet.
VaynerX is a communications company and a media agency that complements Vayner Media.
Gary Vaynerchuk is the chairman and CEO of Vayner X, too.
Gary Vee and His Restaurant Reservation Software Company
In 2019, when the success of his media companies was high, Gary Vee decided to invest in yet another venture. He co-founded a restaurant reservation application called Resy, one that was acquired by American Express later that same year. His partner in this venture was Ben Leventhal.
Resy is a restaurant reservation software designed to make reservations more convenient for restaurants and guests. Guests can choose a table online and book it at the time they need it without having to call the restaurant.
While the value of the sale was undisclosed to the public, it’s estimated to have been around $200 million, according to Bloomberg. When it was acquired, Resy was offering reservations for 4,000 restaurants.
Gary Vaynerchuk’s journey has been impressive so far, and it includes more than his wine, media, and software companies. Let’s take a look at what else he’s achieved over the years.
Planet of the Apps
In 2017, Apple launched “Planet of the Apps”, a reality TV series. They cast Vaynerchuk, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, and Will.i.am.
People said that the show resembled a mixture between American Idol and Shark Tank. In “Planet of the Apps”, developers pitch their ideas to the team and ask for an investment.
On July 23, 2018, Apple canceled the series after a single season.
When asked about his experience on the series, Vaynerchuk responded that Apple “did everything wrong” with the marketing. Here is his statement:
I was on an Apple show, right? Planet of the Apps? Gwyneth, Will, Jessica Alba, and me and Apple didn’t use me or Vayner to do the marketing and did EVERYTHING wrong.
In 2014, Gary Vee started his very successful YouTube show called #AskGaryVee. The YouTube videos on #AskGaryVee include keynote speeches, branding tips, entrepreneurial advice, interviews, and more. So far, Gary has produced 320+ videos. He also created The Gary Vee Audio Experience podcast.
In 2008, Gary Vaynerchuk landed a $1 million book deal with Harper Collins, resulting in “Crush It: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion”, the first of his books. The book was released in 2009 and almost instantly turned him into a New York Times bestselling author.
Other books by Gary Vaynerchuk are:
- “Gary Vaynerchuk’s 101 Wines” (2008)
- “The Thank You Economy” (2011)
- “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” (2013)
- “#AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness” (2016)
- “Crushing It”(2018)
- “Twelve and a Half: Leveraging the Emotional Ingredients Necessary for Business Success” (2021)
Gary Vaynerchuk on Social Media
Gary Vee has a tremendous reach on social media these days. He’s one of the top influencers in the field with over 10 million followers on Instagram and 15 million on Twitter.
The total social media reach of the serial entrepreneur is over 38 million followers, meaning that he earns hundreds of thousands per sponsored post.
A big piece of Gary Vee’s net worth comes from his speaking engagements, public appearances, and sponsored deals. He’s a highly sought-after speaker. It’s estimated that it costs upwards of $200,000 to book him for an event.
What Else Does Vaynerchuk Invest In?
Vaynerchuk’s biggest investments are in media, wines, and technology, but he also invests in NFTs, cryptocurrency, as well as other companies. He lives a luxurious lifestyle considering that he’s making huge money from several ventures. Let’s take a closer look at what he’s invested in over the years.
Gary Vee as an Angel Investor
As soon as he released his first book, Gary Vee started investing in other companies. His most notable investment was in Facebook. Vaynerchuk invested $200,000 in Facebook, which turned out to be a highly profitable investment, adding millions to his net worth.
After this, Gary started investing in brands like Snapchat, Venmo, Twitter, and Tumblr.
The exact investments in these ventures are unknown, but he likes to talk about his strategies and experiences through his various social media channels often.
NFTs and Cryptocurrencies
As you would expect from a fan of technology, Gary’s also an investor in cryptocurrency and NFTs. He has spent 1,600 Ether on CryptoPunk, a valuable NFT worth $3.7 million.
Ethereum is one of his favorite cryptos, but it’s unknown how much he has in his portfolio.
At one point, Gary Vee even launched his own series of NFTs, pieces that he hand-drawn including the Curious Crane and the Logical Lion.
The series is called VeeFriends and it has been tremendously successful, becoming one of the largest and most popular NFT collections on the market. It has certainly made the entrepreneur many millions of dollars.
Vaynerchuk is a big fan of the New York Jets. He owns a Thomas Hennessy jersey and plans to one day own the team. He shared this plan in 2021 on a radio show with Matthew Higgins. Of course, he hasn’t quite built the figurine he would need to buy the Jets but if his wealth continues to grow at the same pace he may reach his goal before too long.
As for real estate, Gary Vee has a home, but there’s no public information to tell us where it is – or how much it’s worth. He often shares his plans to rent in the future, and says that home ownership is BS:
Why do you need to own a home? To leave it to your kids? They can rent too… I think the whole thing is going to go. In the next 50 years, it takes time to rebrand.
What Can We Learn From Gary Vee’s Success?
Vaynerchuk’s journey from a young man in a family business to a multimillionaire with assets across different industries is nothing short of inspiring.
His determination and entrepreneurial spirit are impressive, especially since he has left behind a trail of different successful ventures – and some very smart investments.
Gary Vee’s story shows us how powerful innovation and adaptation can be, and how important it is to commit to your passions.