Instagram has seen its revenue skyrocket since Facebook acquired it in 2012 for $1 billion. It’s not just the app that’s a money-spinner — Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom is also profiting from its popularity, and from its parent company.
Four years after the Facebook deal, Systrom has become the latest Silicon Valley billionaire, according to Forbes. The 32-year-old is now valued at $1.1 billion, thanks to a spike in Facebook’s stock.
When Facebook bought Instagram, Systrom owned a 40 percent share in the app, which he helped co-found in 2010. At the time, Mark Zuckerberg and company finalized a deal that included $300 million in cash, and 23 million shares of stock — the two combined equaled $1 billion. Forbes estimated that Systrom was worth $400 million as a result of the deal.
Since then it’s been a rocky path to the exclusive billionaires club for the Instagram chief. Whereas his app has gone from strength-to-strength, Systrom has suffered a few setbacks en route to the upper echelons of Silicon Valley. First came a drop in his personal wealth to $280 million courtesy of a fluctuation in Facebook’s post-IPO stock price. That same stock has since witnessed a stunning 500 percent turnaround, catapulting Systrom to his current status. The Instagram CEO now also sits on the Walmart board, and has been awarded stock by the retail chain.
Meanwhile, Instagram has accumulated 500 million users, and is projected to generate $3.2 billion this year alone. Not bad for a startup that had a mere 12 employees, and a product that was used by a paltry 30 million users in 2012. Considering the fact that Zuckerberg and Facebook have allowed Instagram to operate independently, Systrom is responsible for that growth. Fortunately for him, it has also resulted in a massive increase in his fortunes.