"So began the most lucrative two-year courtship in technology history, one in which admiration led to friendship and then, in a last-minute hurry, to an unprecedented transfer of wealth, all signed and sealed on the door of the welfare office Koum, 38, once haunted. Last month Facebook bought WhatsApp for $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in stock (8.5% of the company) plus $3 billion in restricted shares.
The deal cements Zuckerberg as tech’s new billionaire-maker. Koum, a shy but brilliant engineer who moved from Ukraine to the U.S. with nothing, will join the Facebook board and, after taxes, pocket $6.8 billion.
His cofounder, Brian Acton, a mild-mannered 42-year-old ex-Yahoo engineer who got turned down for jobs at Twitter and Facebook, will come away with $3 billion after tax. The deal, he says, has left him “astonished.” Sequoia Capital, the only venture firm to taste a part of this deal, walks away with $3.5 billion–a 60-fold return on its $58 million investment.
The numbers are crazy for a company with only 56 employees and roughly $20 million in revenue, but it made sense for Facebook. WhatsApp, which doesn’t even have a sign on the door of its headquarters in Mountain View, is one of the world’s most commonly used communication utilities after e-mail and the telephone and will introduce voice calling later this year."