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From Penniless to Well-Healed: Jan Koum

From Penniless to Well-Healed_ Jan Koum | Karo Startup
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Life wasn’t so easy for Jan Koum. As a teenager, he worked as a cleaner at a grocery store and swept floors to make his ends meet. By the age of 18, he engrossed himself in programming. After a few years of fine-tunings his skills, Koum joined a hacker group called w00w00 in 1996, where his computer skills were advanced and connected with Sean Fanning, the future founder of Napster.

“The Yin and Yang”- Jan Koum and Brian Acton

Later in 1997, Koum was hired by Yahoo! as an infrastructure engineer where he met Acton. The two, Jan Koum and Brian Acton, took a year off and traveled around South America, playing ultimate Frisbee. They both applied at Facebook and unfortunately, they both got rejected. He and Acton worked at Yahoo! for just about 9 years before resigning.

“The Yin and Yang”- Jan Koum and Brian Acton | Karo Startup

WHATSAPP, The King of Messaging App

In January 2009, Koum bought an iPhone, and realized that then seven-month-old app store was about to spark off a brand-new fabrication of apps. He connected with Igor Solomennikov, a Russian mobile developer and began development on apps, named the app WhatsApp due to its resemblance with the expression “what’s up”. Koum, incorporated WhatsApp Inc. in California, now the world’s enormous and considerable mobile messaging amenity. At first, WhatsApp was unpopular. He was ready to give up but the motivation and uplifting that he gained from Acton, he chose not to give up on his dream.

Jan Koum Co Founder of Whatsapp | Karo Startup
Source: Vyapaar Jagat

“We won’t stop until every single person on the planet has an affordable and reliable way to communicate with their friends and loved ones.” Jan Koum.

Re-evaluated WhatsApp as a Cross-Platform Messenger

In June 2009, Koum’s destiny began to turn after Apple added pushed notification ability to apps. He asked Acton to join the company and granted him the co-founder spot, who managed to bring in $250,000 in seed funding. Acton leads the way to an investment round and experimenting with business models that would usher revenue but also guaranteed the controlled growth that their infrastructure could support. In February 2014, Zuckerberg formally offered Koum a deal to join the Facebook board. Facebook acquired the startup for $19.3 Billion in cash and stock.

Disengaged From Facebook Over Clash

In 2016, Koum sold about half of its total holding. He stepped down as CEO of WhatsApp in April 2018 and declared to leave Facebook’s board of Directors as well amid disputes and arguments with the raised company over data privacy and messaging app’s business model.

Disengaged From Facebook Over Clash | Karo Startup
Source: Vyapaar Jagat

His experience of setting up from bottom and running up this way the financial ladder educated him the significance of giving back. He donated $1.15 Billion of his unvested stock to charitable entities including to his Koum Family Foundations.

App With More Than 1 Billion Users- WHATSAPP

Since 2009, WhatsApp has continued to heighten and over the past 11 years, the success of the app has triggered boasting 2.7 Billion users and projected 2.87 Billion for 2021.Now, currently Jan Koum’s net worth was estimated at US$10 Billion (August 2020).

Meta description- Jan Koum cofounded WhatsApp, world’s largest messaging app, picked a meaningful spot to sign the $19 Billion deal to sell his company WhatsApp to Facebook.

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