Koum Jan

Jan Koum

Koum Jan

US entrepreneur and software developer, U.S. dollar billionaire, WhatsApp cofounder

Date of birth: February 24th, 1976

Place of birth: Kyiv, Soviet Union

Company: WhatsApp

Position: CEO



The project was created in 2009 by two former Yahoo men – Jan Koum and Brian Acton. Jan played the combined role of think-tank, muse and executioner. Prior to the program’s first launch, he’d spend days on end finishing the code, studied Wikipedia in order to sync the app with any device anywhere in the world. There was a time when he thought he’d failed, he threw in the towel, but a companion came to the rescue who cheered him up and convinced him to wait a few months. Soon Apple launched a function that notified you when a status was changed. In response, Koum immediately updated the app. That’s when Koum asked Acton to work together.

Not long after Acton managed to attract the company’s first investments to the project – $250 thousand. The money came from former colleagues and Yahoo employees. It was all uphill from there on. When the photo transfer function was introduced in 2011, the app’s user base spiked up and the start uppers made the call to make the app commercial.

WhatsApp started off in a small, shady office with an average team. However, three years later the app processes and sends more than 2 billion messages every day, while the app’s number of users has gone over 100 million people.

In February 2014, Facebook bought the company for 19 billion greenbacks. This could happen under one condition – the entire staff team stays.