Last night (23 August) saw US Republican presidential candidates - minus Donald Trump - on the stage for the very first time of the campaign to become the nominee for the 2024 election.
While Trump, who is due to hand himself into authorities in Georgia over election interference charges, did not make an appearance, the stage was littered with current and upcoming big names of the party. One name which has risen up the ranks and the polls in recent weeks is businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.
In a field that includes former vice president Mike Pence and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Ramaswamy surprised Republican voters with his Trump-esque tirades on stage. His dominance in the debate led to many labelling him the "winner" of the debate in the absence of Trump, who currently leads national polling for the nomination despite his recent legal woes.
Positioning himself as the political outsider, Ramaswamy is grabbing the attention of many during his presidential run.
But who exactly is he and how much is he worth? Here's everything you need to know about Vivek Ramaswamy.
Who is Vivek Ramaswamy?
Vivek Ramaswamy is a 38-year-old billionaire entrepreneur from Cincinnati, Ohio. Ramaswamy, a Harvard graduate, made his money in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, founding Roivant Sciences in 2014.
He is a newcomer to the world of politics, with his presidential candidacy being his first foray into the world and even admitting that he did not vote in the 2008, 2012 or 2016 presidential elections. As a result, he's been labelled a "rookie" by many political commentators and analysts.
What are his political stances?
Ramaswamy has reportedly donated to both Republican and Democratic political campaigns in the past and voted for the Libertarian Party in the early 2000s. However, he declared his candidacy for the Republican Party on 21 February 2023 via an appearance on former Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson's flagship show 'Tucker Carlson Tonight'.
He has been publicly outspoken over his 'anti-woke' views and has criticised corporate America for focusing on issues such as social injustice and racial inequality.
Ramaswamy's politics are in a similar vein - he campaigns on an anti-woke and staunchly Republican Trump-era talking points. He has pledged to ban US companies from doing business with China, use the military to secure the US-Mexico border and has even peddled conspiracy theories on 9/11 .
During the Fox News debate, the businessman spoke about the situation in Ukraine and signalled that he believed that Zelensky should make major concessions to Putin's Russia. He said: "What I think we need to do is end the Ukraine war on peaceful terms that, yes, do make some major concessions to Russia, including freezing those current lines of control in a Korean-war style armistice agreement."
Ramaswamy said during the debate that while he describes himself as "pro-life" and back state-level laws, he does not support a blanket federal abortion ban. He said: "If murder laws are handled at the state level, and abortion is a form of murder, the pro-life view, then it makes no sense for that to be the one federal law."
What is his net worth?
According to Forbes, Ramaswamy is reportedly worth more than $950 million. He was one of the youngest billionaires in the US before his wealth slightly decreased amid his presidential campaign.
His vast wealth comes only second to Trump himself - who is worth a reported $2.5 billion - in the 2024 Republican race.
He is reported to have gained more than £260 million from his Roivant Sciences salary, bonuses and capital gains. He also owns shares in some cryptocurrency firms, including payment company MoonPay.