Even though they have featured in lists of billionaires for some time already, it is only once the company starts to trade publicly that their money on paper translates into actual cash in the bank. The company is valued at between $18 billion and $22 billion, and the initial public offering (IPO) is for shares worth $3 billion, with each share expected to start trading between $14 and $16 when trading begins by March 1. The company is aiming for a listing valuation of between $20 billion and $25 billion. Both Spiegel and Murphy, 26 and 28 years old, respectively, own over 22 percent of Snap's common Class A stock, and if the company achieves the $25 billion valuation at listing, both the co-founders will immediately be worth over $5.5 billion individually. This doesn't include any additional restricted shares that may be vested with the founders.
The popularity of sending goofy photos that disappear is translating into great riches for the two guys who came up with the idea for Snapchat. Cofounders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy each have a 22.4% stake in startup Snap Inc. (the parent of Snapchat), according a regulatory filing on Thursday announcing the company's plans to go public. At Snap's current private valuation of $18 billion, FORBES estimates that Spiegel and Murphy currently each have a net worth of approximately $4 billion. Spiegel and Murphy's stakes are based on the company's share count as of December 31, 2016, and do not include additional restricted stock units (RSUs) or options that could vest ahead of the company's public offering. A spokesperson for Snap declined to comment on the founders' ownership.
Asia mints a new billionaire every three days, according to the 2016 Billionaires Report released Thursday. In all, 113 Asian entrepreneurs became billionaires, making up more than half of the global total for 2015. China accounted for 71 percent of Asia's new billionaires in 2015, up from 35 percent in 2009. In all, China added 80 billionaires, while the U.S. added 5 new billionaires. Outside China, Hong Kong and India had the highest number of new billionaires at 11 each, according to the report.
Asia cranked out a new billionaire every three days last year, a study has found. In all, 113 Asian entrepreneurs attained the status, or more than half of the global total for 2015. China accounted for 80, while the U.S. added only 5 net new billionaires. Don't imagine that the billionaires' club is widely open: It still has only 1,397 members worldwide. Asset transfers, bad investments and falling commodity prices helped to wipe 300 billion from their collective wealth in 2015, to a total of 5.1 trillion.
I cover technology, an industry that belches up a murder of new billionaires annually, and much of my career has required a deep anthropological inquiry into billionairedom. But I'm embarrassed to say I had never before considered Mr. Scocca's idea -- that if we aimed, through public and social policy, simply to discourage people from attaining and possessing more than a billion in lucre, just about everyone would be better off. In my defense, back in October, abolishing billionaires felt way out there. It sounded radical, impossible, maybe even un-American, and even Mr. Scocca seemed to float the notion as a mere reverie. But it is an illustration of the political precariousness of billionaires that the idea has since become something like mainline thought on the progressive left.