Amazing Rags-To-Riches Story Thanks To Facebook
The big news this week is that Facebook bought the messaging app WhatsApp on Wednesday for $19 BILLION in cash and stocks. The story behind it is kind of amazing.
If you don't know, WhatsUpp is sort of like free text messaging from your phone, but over the INTERNET instead of using your cell phone provider's monthly text messaging plan. It lets you send text messages, photos, and videos, and you can text people internationally too.
37-year-old Jan Koum is one of the guys who created it, and his backstory is pretty cool: He was born in the Ukraine, and lived in a small village with no hot water.
When he was 16, he and his mother moved to the San Francisco area and needed government assistance to get by. By the time he was 18, he'd learned how to program and got into San Jose State. He eventually got a job at Yahoo, where he met WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton.
Ironically, both of them applied for JOBS at Facebook before they started WhatsApp – and they both got REJECTED.
It gets even better – the WhatsApp office where they signed the $19 billion contract is right around the corner from the building where Jon’s mother used to pick up their FOOD STAMPS.
Out of the $19 billion they got, $4 billion is in cash and the other $16 billion is in stocks. According to "Forbes", Jon owned about 45% of the company, and Acton owned 20%, with some of the stocks went to employees.
- Kelly Urich