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Who Got Rich When Facebook Bought Instagram? — Dollars and Sense

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

News broke on Monday that Facebook had acquired the popular photo-sharing service Instagram for the princely sum of $1 billion in cash and stock.

It’s the biggest purchase in the history of the world’s largest social network, and it made new multimillionaires of Instagram’s chief executive and the company’s handful of employees.

According to reports, CEO Kevin Systrom owns 40 percent of Instagram, so he netted the tidy sum of $400 million for himself. Co-founder Mike Krieger holds about a 10 percent stake, so he got $100 million. Venture capital firms that funded the company owned another 38 percent, garnering them a total of approximately $380 million.

That leaves a little over $100 million in the pool, which will be shared by Instagram’s 13 full-time employees, doled out by how long each person has been with the company.

In the two years since Instagram was founded, it’s amassed a user base of over 30 million on Apple devices alone. And in the first 12 hours after an Android app was released last week, another one million people signed up.

“This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users,” Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page.

Addressing people concerned the acquisition would mean the end of Instagram as they know it, Zuckerberg added, “[W]e’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently … Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.”


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