Sign in / Join

Snap Cofounders’ Fortunes Rise A Combined $2.8 Billion On IPO Day

Snapchat co-founders Bobby Murphy, left, and CEO Evan Spiegel ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange as the company celebrates its IPO, Thursday, March 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Snap cofounders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy added a combined $2.8 billion to their fortunes on Thursday — and became the only self-made billionaires in the world under the age of 30 to own a publicly traded company.

Snap Inc. –the parent of social network Snapchat – debuted on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday in the most anticipated tech IPO in years. On Wednesday night, Snap set a price of $17 per share, valuing the company at $24 billion. Thursday morning, Snap opened at $24, up 41% from Wednesday night’s pricing. Snap stock rose another 3% throughout the day on Thursday, closing at $24.48 per share and valuing Snap at $28.3 billion.

Spiegel and Murphy, who each have an 18% stake in the company, each ended the day with a $5.4 billion fortune. Each founder sold 16 million shares in the IPO, likely netting $200 million a piece after assumed taxes. FORBES had previously estimated their fortunes at $4 billion based on the social media company’s latest private valuation of $18 billion. Because of a unique voting structure at Snap, the pair controls 88.5% of the company’s voting rights. None of the Class A shares sold in the IPO today had voting rights, ensuring that Spiegel and Murphy will retain control of the company.

Spiegel and Murphy have had a speedy rise up the ranks of the world’s richest people. Spiegel first appeared on the Forbes Billionaires List in March 2015 with an estimated $1.5 billion net worth; Snapchat was then valued by private investors at $10 billion. At age 26, Spiegel was the world’s youngest self-made billionaire until Stripe cofounder John Collison, who is two months his junior, joined the Billionaires List in November 2016.

Snap’s initial success on the public market–and the jump in Spiegel and Murphy’s fortunes–is likely a welcome sign for the 16 billionaires in the United States whose fortunes are tied to highly valued unicorn startups, including Uber, Airbnb, Palantir and Stripe.

Follow me on Twitter at @kate_vinton.