Brian Acton is best known in the world for co-founding Whatsapp with friend and coworker and is one of the best computer programmers and internet entrepreneurs in the world.
His fame and praise have reached every corner of the world but his struggles, journey, and rejection from Facebook and Twitter are relatively are also equal parts of his journey.
He is worth $3.6 Billion as of July 2019, but the journey behind his incredible success and rise to billionaire status is still not known to many. Acton started out as an employee at the then giant IT company Yahoo.
Acton then started a journey into the startup game and made himself into one of the biggest names in the social media business. After initially creating the app with his coworker Jan Koum at Yahoo.
Read More About The Whatsapp Co-Founder’s Journey
Brian Acton started his professional career in 1992 after becoming a systems administrator at Rockwell International. After this, he became a product tester at Apple Inc. and Adobe Systems. Then he joined Yahoo in shortly after friend and co-worker Jan Koum and interestingly was their 44th employee.
Before he was a professional he was a computer and math geek as he himself once said. He studied at Lake Howell High where his passion for computers and technology got a platform to grow.
He would meet the then future co-founder Jan Koum while working at Yahoo. In fact, the pair worked at Yahoo for the next nine years. Around 2000 Acton had lost millions of dollars after investing in “the dotcom boom” due to the “dot-com bubble”.
Both co-founders of Whatsapp left Yahoo in 2007 taking a year off to travel the world. Then the duo applied to work and Facebook and got rejected which was a huge hit to their morale.
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In 2009, Koum saw the potential market revolution that the App Store would bring about after he bought an iPhone. He saw a huge market for apps and almost predicted the boom of apps and the market that it would create.
He then contacted Alex Fishman to talk about creating an app. On February 24, 2009, Whatsapp was officially incorporated as a legal company and the name Whatsapp was chosen because it sounded like what’s up. In October 2009 Acton got 5 ex-Yahoo employees to invest $250,000 in the company.
Whatsapp was released in the App Store in August 2009 and an Android version was released in Aug 2010.
After this, the company grew into an IT and social media giant, in fact in April 2011 Sequoia Capital gave $7 million to the founders.
In February 2013 the app had more than 200 million users and increased its staff to 50 people. In July 2013, the company got another investment of around $50 million from Sequoia. The total net worth of the company reached $1.5 billion at this time.
Then the next year on February 19, 2014, the company was bought by Facebook for around $19 billion and Acton got around 20% stake in the company which was then around $3.8 billion.
Facebook must’ve regretted not employing the Whatsapp creating duo, however, the rejection from the company may have been the inspiration behind the creation of Whatsapp.
After Leaving Facebook
Acton worked for Facebook after they bought Whatsapp but a dispute between him and the company made him leave.
He left the company in September 2017 and he left $850 million in unvested which meant that he would get full ownership of the stocks only after meeting certain conditions. After leaving Facebook he also publically tweeted in support of the “#DeleteFacebook”.
He must have also received millions of dollars as salary when working for these behemoths of the IT industry.
Charity & Philanthropy
Brian Acton has given back to the community after receiving so much for himself, he has established charitable organizations like Sunlight Giving and Signal Foundation. In fact, he founded Sunlight Giving with his wife, Tegan Acton, and Signal Foundation was established with Moxie Marlinspike.
He also donated around $50 million to the Signal Foundation which is dedicated to maintaining the privacy of information, as a matter of fact, Acton is a passionate activist against surveillance and invasion of digital privacy.
Assets, Houses, Cars
The billionaire has not compromised his spending when it comes to assets and has bought $86.3 million town in Palo Alto, California, USA.
He bought a total of seven properties including a $30 million mansion in the town which is spread over 7,550 square feet. All of his properties combined cover more than 28,490 square feet.
Acton might also have the best cars money can buy in his garage but the information regarding his rides are not available in the media.