Jan Koum Net WorthReal Name: Jan Koum
Date of Birth: 02/24/1976
Place of Birth: Kiev, Ukraine
2017 Net Worth: $7.1 Billion
Profession: Internet entrepreneur, co-founder of WhatsApp
Jan Koum Biography
Jan Koum was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1976. He grew up in Fastiv, which is just outside Kiev. In 1992, he moved with his mother and grandmother to Mountain View, California. His father intended to join the family later, but ended up staying in Ukraine. Koum’s mother worked as a babysitter, Koum himself as a cleaner at a grocery store. He enrolled at San Jose State University when he was 18, interested in computer programming. He helped put himself through school by working for Ernst & Young as a security tester, which is where he met Brian Acton.
Koum went to work for Yahoo as in infrastructure engineer in 1997 and had Acton come to work there also. For 9 years, the pair worked together at Yahoo. Koum and Acton left Yahoo in late 2007 for a one year vacation, traveling around South America and playing Ultimate Frisbee. Both young men applied to work at Facebook but were rejected.
Koum bought an iPhone in 2009 and it dawned on him that the App Store, which was less than a year old at the time, was about to explode with opportunity for apps. The idea for WhatsApp came as Koum talked with a friend in his kitchen about the app and what to name it. Koum immediately liked the name, because it reminded him of “What’s up?” WhatsApp began operating on Koum’s birthday, from California, on Feb 24, 2009.
WhatsApp has become the world’s biggest mobile messaging service, with more than 600 million users worldwide. In February of 2014, Facebook purchased the app from Koum for $19 billion in cash and stock. Koum has a current net worth of an astounding $7.1 billion, proving that sometimes , getting rich is simply a matter of making a better mousetrap, or in this case, a better mobile app.