Jan Koum is born in Kiev, Ukraine on February 24, 1976. He is an American internet entrepreneur and computer engineer. He founded WhatsApp together with Brian Acton and are the 6th richest billionaires in the world under the age of 40.
He earned most of the money while they sold WhatsApp to Mark Zuckerberg`s Facbook in February this year for $19 billion. Koum is Jewish and grew up in Fastiv, outside Kiev in Ukraine. He moved to Mountain View, California in 1992.
Koum moved with his mother and grandmother to California where a social support program helped them to get a small two bedroom apartment at the age of 16. His father intended to join the family later, but finally remained in Ukraine.
He started to work as a cleaner at a grocery, while his mother worked as a babysitter, but at the age of 18 he became interested in programming. He enrolled at San Jose State University and simultaneously worked at Ernst & Young as a security tester
Jan Koum was part of a group of hackers called w00w00, where he met the future founders of Napster Shawn Fanning and Jordan Ritter. Jan Koum and Brian Acton worked at Yahoo in nine years. In September 2007 the both left Yahoo and took a year off.
Both applied and failed, to work at Facebook. In January 2009, Koum bought an iPhone and saw opportunities in the new app industry. He visited his friend Alex Fishman and they talked for hours about Koum`s idea for an app.
A week later Koum started WhatsApp on his birthday, February 24, 2009. Now, you all know that the WhatsApp baby is worth $19 billion. On February 19, 2014, Facebook Inc announced it is acquiring WhatsApp.
Facebook paid $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in Facebook shares and $3 billion in restricted stock units to be granted to WhatsApp founders and employees that will vest over four years. Jan Koum is the CEO in WhatsApp.
As of April 22, 2014, WhatsApp had over 500 million monthly active users (MAU), 700 million photos and 100 million videos are shared each day, and the messaging system handles more than 10 billion messages each day.
As of May 2014, WhatsApp has crossed 50 million MAU`s in India, which is also its largest country by the numbers of MAU`s. WhatsApp Messenger is a proprietary, cross-platform instant messaging subscription service for smartphones that uses the internet for communication.
Facebook paid $19 billion, which is $42 per user. A week before the WhatsApp deal, Japan`s Rakuten bought Viber for $900 million. They claims to have 280 million users, which is $3,21 per user.
Some investors say Facebook paid too much for WhatsApp, while others say WhatsApp could be worth $100 billion. WhatsApp`s users are worth $42, while Viber`s users are worth $9, and Line`s are worth $73. WeChat`s users are worth $231 per MAU.
If you only sell ads, I think that an international user is worth less than a Western user. I really look forward to see what the right valuation for these apps are in the future. Anyway; A great story!
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