Snapchat was first launched in 2011 and was created by three college guys who were attending Stanford University.
There’s been tonnes of criticism surrounding its CEO, Evan Spiegel, with many people accusing him of ripping the idea of Snapchat from a friend and then locking him out of the start-up. He also has a reputation for being a “party boy” and received a tonne of flak when his swathe of “sexist emails” were leaked.
Here’s everything you need to know about Snapchat’s often-controversial, multi-billionaire founder.
1) He’s worth over US$5.2 billion
Snap debuted on Wall Street in early March and the valued at a whopping $29 billion after the first day of trading, making Spiegel a very, very rich man.
According to Forbes, Spiegel is now worth over US$5.2 billion. Pretty crazy considering he was born in the 1990s.
2) He was born rich
Even before he created Snapchat, Spiegel’s family was extremely wealthy. They had a family home in Pacific Palisades, Southern California that was reportedly worth over US$2 million.
So even though he did exceptionally well to create a billion-dollar company, he had strong financial backing to begin with, solidifying the popular argument that most entrepreneurs started off as rich kids.
3) His family was also super successful
You would have guessed this from the previous fact. His parents, Melissa and John Spiegel are both very successful lawyers with degrees from Harvard and Yale, respectively.
Given the lawsuits surrounding Reggie Brown’s equity in the company, it isn’t exactly a bad thing (Brown was eventually paid US$157.5 million in a settlement to close his “ousted founder” lawsuit). Spiegel’s parents divorced in 2007 and he ended up living with his father.
4) Evan was somewhat spoiled
When he learned to drive and passed his driving test at age 17, his parents gave him a brand new Cadillac Escalade.
Spiegel lives a charmed life and he knows it too. “I am a young, white, educated male,” he once said at a conference. “I got really, really lucky. And life isn’t fair.”
5) He dropped out of college
Word is, Spiegel was able to attend the prestigious Standard University largely thanks to his dad’s excellent connections. Once accepted, he chose to study product design.
However, he left Stanford just a few months shy of completing his degree. This was due to the initial success of his company, Snapchat, which he wanted to focus on and get it off the ground. Obviously, that paid off.
6) He turned down a US$3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook
Snapchat shocked the tech community in late 2013 when a report on Wall Street Journal revealed it had turned down a US$3 billion cash acquisition offer from Facebook.
He later told Forbes: “There are very few people in the world who get to build a business like this. I think trading that for some short-term gain isn’t very interesting.”
7) He’s currently engaged to Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr
He met the 33-year-old former Victoria’s Secret angel at an LA dinner hosted by Louis Vuitton in 2014 and they are planning to tie the knot later this year.
Despite Spiegel’s success, Kerr had previously admitted that she didn’t know who he was when they first met. “I was, like, ‘He’s cute… but he’s way too young to take anything too seriously,’ ”she told The Independent, UK.
This will be the first marriage for Spiegel and the second for Kerr, who has a six-year-old son with ex-husband, Orlando Bloom.
So, after these 7 facts about Snapchat’s billionaire CEO, do you think Spiegel was or is a nice guy? Does he deserve his success? Let us know in the comment section below!