Jan Koum

January Koum ( born February 24, 1976 Kiev) is a Ukrainian- American entrepreneur and co-founder of WhatsApp, a popular messaging service for mobile phones. After the company was bought by Facebook in February 2014, he joined the local Board of Directors. His fortune is estimated at 6.8 billion U.S. dollars.


January Koum grew up as the child of Jewish parents in a small Ukrainian village near Kiev in poor circumstances. 1992 when he was 16 years old, his mother emigrated with him to the United States to California, where they settled in Mountain View. His father remained in the Ukraine. Koum worked as a cleaner; his mother as a baby sitter. In 2000 Koums mother died of cancer; his father had died in 1997.

Koum went to the Mountain View High School and was a bully and troublemaker. He studied at the San José State University. The use of computers Koum taught himself. In 1997, he met his future business partner Brian Acton know who mediated a job at Yahoo him. Acton and Koum worked until 2007, together with Yahoo, but were frustrated in the past few years there. 2009 Koum bought an iPhone and realized the potential of this time only seven -month-old app stores. He developed the idea for WhatsApp and founded on his 33rd birthday, February 24, 2009 in California, WhatsApp Inc., even though the application was not even programmed. WhatsApp rapidly developed into one of the most popular apps ever.

Prior to the sale of WhatsApp to Facebook to Koum had repeatedly been critical of offensive advertising on the Internet, emphasizing especially his antipathy towards advertising on mobile phones. These are so personal and private that shown commercials it would not be a good idea.

Koum enjoys playing soccer and Ultimate Frisbee.