Back in 2010 Facebook turned down Brian Acton and Jan Koum. In 2014 they bought their app WhatsApp for $19 billion.
Acton graduated from Stanford with a degree in computer science and went to work for Rockwell International, Apple, Adobe Systems and finally – Yahoo. He met his future business partner Jan Koum at Yahoo and the two of them became close. They decided to leave Yahoo and to decide what to do in order to make more money. After Facebook turned both guys down in 2009 they came up with the idea to create something new. That’s how WhatsApp was born.
The application was initially released in late 2009 and a year after its release WhatsApp had already become one of the top 20 most popular applications on the App Store. By the end of 2013 Mark Zuckerberg and his board at Facebook had set their eyes on the application and they we positive they had to acquire WhatsApp from the two founders they had once turned down. So, in February 2014 Facebook bought WhatsApp for the whopping $19 billion. According to official reports, this is currently Facebook’s most expensive purchase ever! However, the company didn’t send $19 billion straight to the application’s co-founders bank accounts. Brian Acton and Jan Koum received only $4 billion in cash. The rest was divided as $12 billion in Facebook shares and $3 billion in restricted stock units. Regardless of this, Facebook actually ended up paying the largest price tag for an acquisition to the two guys that were once turned down!
Brian Acton’s current net worth is more than $4.6 billion and Jan Koum’s net worth is more than $8.8 billion. Koum is currently working as a Managing Director for Facebook.