Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) acquired mobile messaging service Whatsapp a month ago, reportedly for a sum of $22 billion. The regulatory filing for the acquisition was released on Wednesday and the biggest winners includes Whatsapp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton, with some reports suggesting that they stacked up Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares worth $9 billion. Amelia Martyn-Hemphill reported on ‘The Street’ about this.
“The WhatsApp founders were the big winners in their recent Facebook acquisition, cashing-in on nearly $9 billion worth of Facebook stock. Regulatory filings released on Wednesday show that Jan Koum and Brian Acton hit the jackpot receiving a combined 116 million Facebook shares. The founders sold their mobile messaging service to the social networking giant last month and are now reaping the rewards,” Hemphill reported.
Koum is a Ukraine Immigrant, who is currently the fourth larger shareholder of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), only behind Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg and a couple of mutual funds, Fidelity Management and Vanguard. He holds around 76.4 million Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares worth $5.8 billion.
Acton who was an engineer at Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) owns around 39.7 million Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares worth around $3 billion. Hemphill reported that more than 45 other current and former Whatsapp employees also got some Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) shares.
Whatsapp was running on losses and it has not generated any profits yet. Only income that Whatsapp can generate is through the subscription fee of 99 cents, which was collected only after a year of free service to the users. With the huge sum paid for Whatsapp, how does Zuckerberg plan to cash in through this mobile messaging app? Only way to generate revenues is by subsidizing the service without impacting the user base for Whatsapp. But Will Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) try to subsidize the service at the risk of losing the user base?
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