WhatsApp Sold to Facebook for $19 Billion


Thu, Feb 20th, 2014 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

Seems like Facebook is determined to gobble everyone up: reportedly, "Facebook is purchasing messaging giant WhatsApp for $16 billion in cash and stock". For data lovers, Sequoia Capital explains what the numbers mean. What is more interesting, however, is reading about the history behind the program:

Jan Koum picked a meaningful spot to sign the $19 billion deal to sell his company WhatsApp to Facebook earlier today. Koum, cofounder Brian Acton and venture capitalist Jim Goetz of Sequoia drove a few blocks from WhatsApp’s discreet headquarters in Mountain View to a disused white building across the railroad tracks, the former North County Social Services office where Koum, 37, once stood in line to collect food stamps. That’s where the three of them inked the agreement to sell their messaging phenom ?which brought in a miniscule $20 million in revenue last year — to the world’s largest social network.

Koum, who Forbes believes owns 45% of WhatsApp and thus is suddenly worth $6.8 billion — was born and raised in a small village outside of Kiev, Ukraine, the only child of a housewife and a construction manager who built hospitals and schools. His house had no hot water, and his parents rarely talked on the phone in case it was tapped by the state. It sounds bad, but Koum still pines for the rural life he once lived, and it’s one of the main reasons he’s so vehemently against the hurly-burly of advertising.



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“The company’s ambition, its ruthlessness, and its lack of a moral compass scare me.”