WhatsApp Founders Become Billionaires In $19 Billion Facebook Deal

Feb 19 2014, 6:30pm CST | by

Facebook just made two more Silicon Valley entrepreneurs into billionaires.

On Wednesday, the Menlo Park, Calif.-based company announced a record $19 billion for messaging service WhatsApp. That deal instantly takes WhatsApp cofounders Jan Koum and Brian Acton into the realm of 10-figure fortunes.

FORBES estimates that Koum held about a 45% stake in the company, while Acton’s stake was over 20%.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook said it would be paying for the deal with nearly 184 million shares, $4 billion in cash and nearly 46 million restricted stock units (RSUs), valuing the acquisition at over $19 billion. After disregarding the RSUs, which are not immediately exercisable, and assessing taxes, FORBES estimates that Koum is worth $6.8 billion while Acton is worth at least $3 billion as of Facebook’s closing share price on Wednesday.

Messages left with WhatsApp were not immediately returned on Wednesday.

Facebook has already minted several billionaires, among them Mark Zuckerberg, whose estimated net worth is about $30 billion. Other members of the 10-figure club from the social network’s ranks include cofounders Dustin Moskovitz and Eduardo Saverin; venture capitalists Peter Thiel and Jim Breyer; former president Sean Parker; and most recently Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who became a billionaire last month because of Facebook’s rising share prices.

Aside from Facebook’s chief, WhatsApp CEO Koum will be richer than all of them. At 37, he will join Facebook’s board once the deal closes and will continue to operate the Mountain View, Calif.-based messaging company independently of its parent.

“I’ve also known Jan for a long time, and I know that we both share the vision of making the world more open and connected,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page. “I’m particularly happy that Jan has agreed to join the Facebook board and partner with me to shape Facebook’s future as well as WhatsApp’s.”

Additional reporting from Parmy Olson in San Francisco and Brian Solomon and Alex Konrad in New York. 

Follow me on Twitter at @RMac18 or email me at rmac@forbes.com.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

China pledges $81 mn financial assistance for Afghanistan
Beijing, Oct 31 (IANS) China Friday pledged to provide non-reimbursable assistance of 500 million yuan (about 81 million dollars) to Afghanistan this year at an international meeting on Afghanistan held here.
 
 
EU seeks talks with Russia over goods duties: WTO
Geneva, Oct 31 (IANS) The European Union (EU) has sought a consultation with Russia over the tariffs the latter imposed on certain agricultural and manufactured goods, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) said Friday.
 
 
Virgin Galactic's spaceship crashes during test flight
Los Angeles, Nov 1 (IANS) A passenger rocket plane developed by Virgin Galactic's crashed Friday after suffering an "in-flight anomaly" during a powered test flight over the US state of California, the company said.
 
 
Bhopal fugitive Warren Anderson is dead (Roundup, Changing dateline)
Washington, Oct 31 (IANS) Warren Anderson, the former CEO of Union Carbide Corp, has died at 92 after living for 30 years under the shadow of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy that killed thousands.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Three Iraqis arrested on terror charges in Switzerland
Geneva, Nov 1 (IANS) Swiss authorities Friday said they arrested three Iraqi nationals suspected of planning a terrorist attack in Europe. The office of the attorney general of Switzerland said in a statement that the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Pakistan repatriates 29 Afghans
Islamabad, Oct 31 (IANS) Pakistan handed over 29 Afghans arrested during a military operation in its northwestern tribal region to Afghan authorities, the army said Friday. The Pakistani security forces had launched a...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Less than half of Americans support stricter gun laws: Poll
Washington, Oct 31 (IANS) Less than half of Americans said they back tougher gun laws, which is significantly lower than the 58 percent recorded just after the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Zimbabwe's main opposition calls for fresh polls again
Harare, Oct 31 (IANS) Zimbabwe's opposition MDC-T party said Friday economic challenges confronting the country could only be resolved if the country holds free and fair polls. MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai told...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Trapped miners confirmed dead: Colombia
Bogota, Oct 31 (IANS/EFE) Twelve workers trapped by a flood inside a coal mine in the northwestern province of Antioquia are dead, Colombian authorities said Friday. "With an inspection we made in the night hours, we...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
10,000 agents searching for missing Mexican students
Mexico City, Oct 31 (IANS/Prensa Latina) The search for the 43 students who disappeared in Iguala, in the Mexican state of Guerrero, continued Friday with participation of 10,000 agents, including federal forces,...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Unicef wants unimpeded delivery of aid to kids in CAR
Geneva, Oct 31 (IANS) The UN Children's Fund (Unicef) Friday asked for unhampered delivery of humanitarian assistance to children in need of support amid the recent episodes of unrest in Central African Republic (CAR...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
UN calls for inclusive urban development
United Nations, Oct 31 (IANS) UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa Friday called for an inclusive and sustainable approach for urban development that considers the needs of marginalised groups. Commemorating the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Ponzi schemer in US cheats residents of $22 mn, jailed
Washington, Oct 31 (IANS) If you have been one of those approached by some 'known' person for investing in something with an assurance of 'easy money', you may benefit reading about this Ponzi schemer, jailed in the US...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
China pledges $81 mn financial assistance for Afghanistan
Beijing, Oct 31 (IANS) China Friday pledged to provide non-reimbursable assistance of 500 million yuan (about 81 million dollars) to Afghanistan this year at an international meeting on Afghanistan held here. China...
Read more on Politics Balla