Billionaire, WhatsApp co-founder, started simple and has already donated US$ 1 billion – 10/31/2022

At the age of 50, one of the founders of WhatsApp, Brian Acton, went from a childhood without luxuries to one of the biggest fortunes in the world investing in an application that revolutionized digital communication. In addition to taking advantage of the billions of dollars, the entrepreneur invests millions more in social actions.

After going through some technology companies, he saw a market opportunity and created WhatsApp. The messaging app was bought by Facebook in 2014 and made Acton a billionaire. Today it has US$ 2.4 billion, R$ 12.83 billion at the price of October 28.

Forbes magazine estimates that Acton has already invested $1 billion in solidarity actions. See below how his early life was and what he does with that fortune today.

Studies and early career

Acton was born on the 17th of February 1972 in Michigan, United States. Afterwards, she moved with her family to Florida, where she graduated from Lake High School. howell. In school, he won state championships in math and computing. With excellent grades, Brian Acton got a scholarship to study engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. However, he left that college to study in Stanford.

Still during graduation, in 1992, he started working as a systems administrator for a company called rockwell international, which operates in aviation. Shortly thereafter, he became a ‘tester’ of Apple and Adobe products.

In 1994, he graduated in Computer Science. Two years later, she joined Yahoo!, where she was reunited with Jam Koum, of Ukrainian descent. The two already knew each other when Koum worked as a security analyst at the auditing and consulting firm Ernest & Young.

For nine years, they worked together and came up with various ideas. In 2007, when they left the Yahoo!, took a ‘gap year’ and traveled to South America. Both tried to join Facebook, which was already big at the time, but were rejected.

The idea for WhatsApp arises

Koum bought an iPhone in January 2009, and saw potential in the newborn app store. Along with Brian Acton and Alex fishmandecided to create a chat app. The idea came from Koum, who missed important calls when he was at the gym, since the phone was forbidden.

He also noted that the then-newly launched App Store had potential.

When it was created, WhatsApp was a competitor application of SMS, but it only served to send text. It was not possible to exchange photos, audios, files, or calls. One challenge the app had was the fact that text messages were not billed in the United States.

Therefore, the company decided to expand to countries where the service was charged, such as Brazil, and was successful.

The name, WhatsApp, comes from the English expression “what’s up” (‘what up?’), mixed with “app”, from app. The app was a resounding success.

With the worldwide spread of WhatsApp, the duo began to make money from advertising and licensing on behalf of the app.

Jump into the billions

But it was in 2014 that their lives took a million-dollar leap. The same Facebook that, years before, rejected them made a proposal to buy WhatsApp.

The value of the negotiation was US$ 22 billion, and Acton took $3.5 billion, while Koum took $6.8 billion. In 2017, Acton left the helm of the app.

Meta, owner of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, reported that 3.71 billion people use any of the company’s apps today – there is no data on how many use WhatsApp.

Solidarity

O co-founder of WhatsApp today is dedicated to social causes. In 2014, he founded with his wife, tegan Actonthe institution “Sunlight giving” (“Give a ray of sunshine”, in literal translation from English), which takes care of children up to five years old from families living in poverty in the San Francisco Bay.

With R$ 470 million invested from the fortune of co-founder of WhatsApp, the foundation gives food and medical care.

Two years later, Acton launched the “family giving“, a donation fund within the program fidelity Charitablewhere entrepreneurs can donate fees and taxes to charity.

With a daughter, the family also invests in a third social entity, to protect the family and abandoned animals.

In 2018, he created a non-profit company, sign Foundation, with the aim of preserving a private communication. US$ 50 million were invested.

He came to have US$ 6.6 billion. With the investment in social causes, Acton’s fortune was reduced in 2021 to US$ 2.4 billion, according to a survey by Forbes magazine.

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