Facebook turned a few into billionaires, but many into multi-millionaires from the recent IPO. Although no number has been confirmed as to how many individuals Facebook turned into millionaires, rumors have spread saying over 1,000. As a result, this has created a lot of buzz in Silicon Valley with other industries such as real estate agents and car salesman gearing up for the new millionaires to begin spending their fortunes. The majority of the new Facebook millionaires are employees that received stock or stock options as incentives, but some other unusual names have also surfaced. Take a look at four people you may never thought would have made millions off Facebook
1.) David Choe: David Choe, an L.A. graffiti artist, painted murals on the walls of Facebook headquarters in 2005 and 2007. Hired by Facebook’s president at the time, Sean Parker, Choe was given the option to either be paid for the work, approximately $60,000 at the time, or take company stock. Although Choe thought Facebook was “ridiculous and pointless,” he decided to take the stock instead of the cash. It appears Choe’s intuition paid off. According to ABC News, the stock today is valued around roughly $200 million dollars. This equates to nearly a 3,333% ROI, assuming the stock was originally worth $60,000.
2.) Bono: The famous front man of the hit band U2 is not only a musician, but also a Managing Director and Co-Founder of Elevation Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in entertainment and technology companies. In 2009 and 2010, Elevation invested roughly $210 million into the social networking site. At the time of the IPO these shares had skyrocketed to a valuation around $1.5 billion. Not all of this is Bono’s cash though. The exact amount has not been confirmed, but could be in the range of $40 million. Elevation Partners also currently has holdings in Forbes, MaketShare and Yelp.
3.) Mark Pincus: Founder and CEO of social gaming company Zynga, Mark Pincus was an early angel investor in Facebook. In 2004, according to CNBC, he invested approximately $40,000 in the startup that has now ballooned into about $186,000 million. The two companies (Facebook & Zynga) are closely tied together. The SEC S-1 statement released pre IPO shows Zynga accounts for roughly 12% of Facebook’s revenue and nearly all of Zynga’s revenue is dependent on the social media giant. Pincus is a veteran in the dot.com space. He has started five companies and has over two decades of experience.
4.) Dr. Edward Zuckerberg: Father to Mark Zuckerberg, Dr. Edward Zuckerberg is a dentist in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. running his own practice. In 2004 and 2005, Dr. Zuckerberg provided working capital for Facebook and was issued an option to purchase 2 million shares with an expiration of one year. The option was never exercised, but in 2009 the Facebook board issued 2 million Class B common stock to Glate LLC, a company controlled by Dr. Edward Zuckerberg. At the IPO price of US$38, Dr. Zuckerberg’s shares were worth an estimated $76 million.
Conclusion: The IPO turned out to be a huge disappointment for the investing community and many retail investors lost money as a result. This didn’t stop early investors from striking it rich. Mark Zuckerberg alone has sold around 30 million shares for about $1.13 billion. Early angel investor Peter Thiel has also sold nearly 17 million shares worth $633 million. Unfortunately, this is common with many IPOs. Early investors and company insiders sell large portions of their shares and cash out big, leaving the retail investors to buy the very shares insiders are selling. Facebook still has a strong business model and revenue of around $1 billion dollars. If you believe that Facebook is a company here to stay for the longterm, the shares may currently be at an attractive price.