24-year-old nets pounds 38m

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A former computer student was $60m (pounds 38.5m) richer yesterday after investors stampeded to buy shares in the latest technology sensation to be floated on the New York stock exchange, writes Michael Marray.

Marc Andreessen, 24, co-founder of Netscape Communications, is in a similar bracket to the Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, with his rise to wealth as shares in the company rose from $28 (pounds 17) to close at $58.25 (pounds 37), making a 100 per cent profit for investors.

The company is best known for Netscape Navigator, the main software for computer enthusiasts browsing through the World Wide Web on the Internet.

Netscape was formed 15 months ago by Andreessen, at the time a 22-year- old student, and James Clark, former chairman of Silicon Graphics. As of yesterday, Clark's profit and shares were valued at more than $600m (pounds 385m).