Facebook Buyout of WhatsApp ExplainedIBTimes UK

Facebook has rocked the tech world by announcing a huge deal to buy the popular messaging app WhatsApp for the mind-blowing amount of $19 billion all told.

We look at the amazing figures behind the five-year-old company and the deal which has propelled it into the headlines:

  • Founded: 24 February, 2009
  • Founders: 2 - Jan Koum and Brian Acton
  • Engineers: 32
  • Monthly active users: 450 million
  • Daily Active Users: 324 million
  • Growth: WhatsApp says it is adding 1 million new users every single day.
  • Activation Costs: The cost of sending verification texts to new users is running the company around $500,000 every month.
  • Number of messages sent daily: 27 billion (as of June 2013, WhatsApp claimed it was dealing with over 10 billion inbound messages and over 17 billion outbound messages received)
  • Number of photos shared daily: 500 million
  • Marketing Budget: $0
  • Venture Capital funding: Officially unknown, but sources speaking to Fortune say Sequoia (the only investor) has invested a total of $60 million over three funding rounds, the largest of which was a $50m round which closed very quietly in the middle of 2013.
  • Revenue in 2013: $20 million
  • Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Symbian, Nokia S40 devices
  • What it cost Facebook: $19.5 billion (based on $68.06 stock price) - $12bn in stock, $4bn in cash and $3bn in restricted stock units (RSUs).
  • Percentage of Facebook's value: WhatsApp, at $19bn represents 10% of Facebook's market value, which is a lot more than the 1% of its market value it paid for Instagram in 2011.
  • Cost per user: Facebook is paying around $35 for each of WhatsApp's users - which seems a lot but at its current market capitalisation, Facebook values its own monthly active users at $140 each.
  • Who owned WhatsApp?: It's not known for certain but it is believed that founder Koum had a 45% stake (worth around $7bn) while Acton had around 15% (worth around $2.3bn). Some early employees are believed to have stakes of 1% (worth $160 million) with Sequoia Capital said to have between 17%-19%.
  • Break-up fee: The deal still have to get regulatory approval and should anything happen to scupper the mega-deal, Facebook will have to stump up $1 billion in cash and $1 billion in stock as compensation to WhatsApp.