Jan Koum is the co-founder of WhatsApp. He was born in 1976 in Kiev, Ukraine. His family was poor as he grew up. There was no heat or hot water in his house. When he was a teenager, Jan and his mother fled to the United States, as antisociality was becoming very dangerous in Ukraine. Jan and her mother moved into a two-bedroom apartment in Mountain View, California. His mother worked as a baby boy. Jan swept his local grocery floors. To make ends meet, family welfare relied on food stamps that were taken out of a domineering office complex not far from their apartment.
On 19 February 2014, the people returned to the same exact office premises – which was still located in the welfare office! He had a contract in one hand. In the second pen. As soon as he signed his name he kept the contract till the door of the welfare office. With that pen stroke, Jan sold the company to WhatsApp co-founded – Facebook $ 14 billion Cash and in stock.
I’m not exaggerating, he actually did in that welfare office.
Jan spent a few years on Facebook, earning bonuses, stock appreciation and a handful of additional earnings. He quit in 2018 over concerns about how Facebook’s upper management (namely, Mark Zuckerberg) implemented aggressive privacy and advertising changes on its beloved messaging platform. When life was lost, he left $ 500 million on the table with no options. If he lived around another year, he could have those options. It was actually more like a billion dollars left on the table after FB’s share price doubled.
Not that he cares about a “missing” Arab or two. After all this was said and done Jan Koum still went with a net worth of $ 12 billion.
And Jaan did not waste much time doing that work. He was born in a house with hot water or heat, then moved into a two-bedroom apartment with his single mother. Today, Jan Koum has approximately $ 450 million worth of real estate. And we are not talking about office buildings or investments. He is the owner of almost half a billion dollars in virtually individual residences.
Jan Koum’s $ 450 million real estate portfolio
Jan bought his first significant house in 2015 when he paid $ 8.8 million for a house in Atherton, California. Over the next few years he paid $ 57 million for several people in the same neighborhood. In total, his new campus had 5.6 acres. He went on to finish all the previous structures and spent $ 20 million on a brand new custom home. The only garage in this compound is 10,000 sq ft, which is convenient because Jan is an avid car collector, specifically Ferraris and air-cooled Porsche. He also owns a nearby warehouse, where he stores dozens of extra super cars.
In September 2019, Jan set his foot down in Malibu and bought a 14,000-square-foot clifftop mansion in Malibu atop a beach called Paradise Cove. Purchase price?
$ 100 million
Jaan’s house is located in arguably the most desirable area in Malibu, apart from a private gated community called Malibu Colony. But this is also debatable.
To find out why this area is so amazing and why a house would cost $ 100 million, watch this video on Jan’s first Maliba home tour:
I call the “first” Malibu house in that last sentence because it was revealed earlier today that Jan Koum had acquired the second Malibu.
Sorry to embed all videos, but I really want you to understand what we are doing here. So in the following video, pause the 11 second digit hits:
If you stopped at the 11 second mark, you should see two clifftop homes along the paths down the beach. Do you see the modern looking house in the dead center with a zig-zagging walkway down the beach? Bought a $ 100 million house in 2019 (as seen in the first embedded video above).
Do you see the house with a direct walkway to the beach? John Kamm just bought that house…
$ 87 million
Other than that it is not a path. It is fun, a fancy way of an elevator that goes up and down a mountain / hill.
We wrote about January’s new 3-acre property in June of 2020, when it first asked for a cool price of $ 125 million.
Musician Kenny Rogers owned the house in the 1980s. He actually paid to set up the funeral. And not only did he have to pay construction costs when the City of Malibu complained that Fannastic was installed without permission or permits, Rogers ALSO had to pay $ 2 million in fines.
John is buying his neighbor, Diana Jenkins, a Bosnian-origin entrepreneur.
Diana, born in Serjevo and now Bosnia and Herzegovina, a few years ago in January, was in college when she was forced to flee from the outbreak of war in 1992. He previously spent a year as a refugee in Croatia. Landing in London where she picked up with her studies.
In 1999, Diana met a wealthy British banker named Roger Jenkins at the gym. They married and had two children before divorcing in 2011 10 years later. Diana uprooted herself from London to Malibu, buying a house for an undisclosed sum.
[Side note – As far as I can tell, Jan and Diana are both unmarried. With their background and life experiences… they seem like a good match, no? I’d like an invite to the wedding if that happens…]
Here’s an aerial shot through Google Maps of Jan Caume’s new campus. He now owns two houses at the center of this photo, which are beach baths that almost join the sand:
Altogether their new $ 187 million Malibu Compound spans approximately 7-acres with a sea range of 100+ feet.
The new house comes with a beach cabana, visible above, including a retractable roof, wet bar, fire and built barbecue.
If Jan ever needed to get away from Malibu, he could drive about 40 minutes inland (depending on traffic) to a house in Beverly Hills purchased in September 2020.
The seller of that house was Geoffrey Katzenberg, founder of Quibe. The selling price of that 27,000 property?
$ 125 million
By his very conservative count, to reiterate, Jan Kom owns $ 450 million of real estate in California alone. This means that every year he is deducting checks worth $ 4.5 million to the state to cover his property tax. This means that every year in January the tax man needs to earn $ 9 million pre-tax to satisfy (or pull from his savings). Can you imagine how much he is spending on utilities every year? And to think, he was born into a family that had no utility. Not bad come up!