5 Billionaires Behind Facebook
Billionaires Behind Facebook
Facebook has revolutionized social media. Founded in a Harvard dorm room in 2004, eight years later Facebook has around 901 million active users, 526 million daily users, is available in over 70 languages and about 300 million photos are uploaded to the site each day, according to Facebook.com. As a result, Facebook has transformed into an advertiser's dream and a real money-making machine. Facebook's SEC filings indicate, in 2011, Facebook's net income was roughly $1 billion on revenue of over $3.7 billion dollars. Yahoo!, which was founded in 1994, also had net income of just over $1 billion dollars in 2011 with revenues close to $5 billion. As a result of the social media giant's success, Facebook has turned many into some of the wealthiest individuals on earth. Here are a few of the billion-dollar faces behind Facebook.
Facebook cannot be mentioned without the words Mark Zuckerberg following closely behind. The founder, chair and CEO of Facebook has ownership estimated at $24 billion from his approximate 28% of the company, reported by whoownsfacebook.com. This places Zuckerberg at No. 35 on Forbes' rich list and ninth on Forbes' most powerful people list. This puts him at just slightly behind Pope Benedict XVI, but ahead of Warren Buffet who falls in at No. 20.
Dustin Moskovitz was Zuckerberg's Harvard roommate and one of the co-founders of Facebook. Moskovitz departed from Facebook in 2008 and holds over a 7% stake in the company valued around $6.5 billion. This makes Moskovitz the youngest billionaire being just eight days younger than Zuckerberg. Today Moskovitz runs Asana, a company that helps connect everyone in the workplace.
Also a previous Harvard student and co-founder of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin owns approximately 4% valued at well over $3 billion dollars. According to the Huffington Post, this Brazilian native was rumored to be on a list of potential kidnapping targets for Brazilian gangs so his family fled to the U.S. when he was a child. Today, he has been spreading his wealth into startups such as Qwiki and Jumio. He recently renounced his U.S. citizenship and plans to move to Singapore - a country where he will not have to pay capital gains tax on his Facebook investment.
Known as the wild party boy in the movie "The Social Network," Sean Parker is one of the founders of Napster. Napster is a file sharing program that un-officially revolutionized the music industry. Parker was also an influential piece in helping Facebook receive venture capital from Peter Thiel who was the first large investor in Facebook and still serves on the board of directors today. Parker's 4% stake is worth an estimated $3.4 billion today.
This angel investor is not new to investing in successful startups. Having founded YouTube and Paypal, Thiel was the first significant outside investor in Facebook. Today, his $500,000 investment is worth over $2 billion from his 2.5% ownership. Thiel is also a partner in the Founders Fund, a well-known venture capital firm, as well as global macro hedge fund Clarium Capital Management.
Facebook has made many people filthy rich over its short life. With the IPO set to take place on May 18, 2012, it may make many more very wealthy individuals. The IPO is expected to turn over 1,000 individuals into millionaires. In less than 10 short years, Facebook has gone from a few employees to over 3,500 today. With a whisper number floating around valuing the company around $100 billion dollars, May 18 will be a day for IPO history.