Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg made the offer to buy out WhatsApp for $19 billion on February 9, 2014. Zuckerberg hosted WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum at his house on that day where he proposed the merger.
Zuckerberg reportedly said “Let’s connect the world together.” He also said that he would put Koum on Facebook’s board. Last Friday, Koum came to Zuckerberg’s house again on Valentine’s Day to say that he was in. The two put together the deal while eating chocolate strawberries that Zuckerberg bought for his wife.
This wasn’t the first time Zuckerberg met Koum. Zuckerberg first called Koum in the spring of 2012. The two had coffee in Los Altos after that call one month later and went on a hike. The deal did not happen back then, but they stayed in touch. Zuckerberg was fascinated with WhatsApp because he was confident that it would hit 1 billion users eventually. WhatsApp currently has 450 million monthly active users and is growing faster than Facebook, Instagram, Gmail, and Skype. Out of the 450 million monthly active users, 70% come back every day.