Grafitti Artist David Choe May Make $200 Million When Facebook Goes Public

Grafitti artist David Choe took Facebook stock instead of cash for painting the walls at the company’s first headquarters. That was a great move because his stock may be worth $200 million when the company goes public later this year. Facebook announced a $5 billion public offering on Wednesday afternoon that would value the company at between $75-$100 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg himself has 533.8 million shares, which would be worth $28.4 billion based on a company valuation of $100 billion ($53 per share). Zuckerberg also owns 28.4% of the company outright and has 57% of the voting rights of the company.

Facebook’s first outside investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel put $500,000 into the company, which gave him 44.7 million shares that could be worth over $2 billion. Accel Partners owns 201.4 million shares and they could have a thousandfold return on their investment. Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has 1.9 million shares, which is about 0.1% of the company and she may collect 38.1 million additional shares. Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen has 3.6 million shares worth nearly $200 million. Facebook was founded in Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room at Harvard University 8 years ago.

Mark Zuckerberg’s father was given 2 million shares of stock “in satisfaction of funds provided for our initial working capital.”

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss own 1.2 million shares as part of their settlement with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook. The twins claimed that Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea when they were students at Harvard. Zuckerberg acknowledged working on them on a similar project, but it was not the same idea as Facebook. Eduardo Saverin was a co-founder in the social network, but his shares were diluted. Saverin sued Facebook and ended up settling for 5% of the company.

David Choe, the grafitti artist, may end up making more money from his graffiti than Sotheby’s was able to get for another artist named Damien Hirst. Hirst made $200.7 million in art auctions in 2008.

Choe was invited to paint the walls at Facebook by Sean Parker, the company’s former president. Choe was offered a choice between cash in the “thousands of dollars” or stock that was worth about the same back then. Back then, Choe thought that Facebook was “ridiculous and pointless,” but ended up choosing the stock anyway.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
Leave a Comment