The billionaire cofounder of WhatsApp has reportedly spent $80 million assembling what may be the most expensive compound in America's richest town

ShutterstockJan Koum is the cofounder of WhatsApp.

In America’s richest town, it’s go big or go home.

According to a Variety report published this week, Jan Koum, the billionaire cofounder of WhatsApp, has spent almost $US80 million buying and constructing what may just be the most expensive property in America’s richest town, Atherton, California, where the average household income was $US450,696 in 2017, according to Bloomberg.

Koum reportedly configured the compound by dropping $US57 million over four years to acquire and renovate five houses in Atherton, then spent over $US20 million adding at least two mansions and a two-level detached garage that’s likely over 10,000 square feet.


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Koum sold WhatsApp to Facebook for $US19 billion in 2014 and joined the company’s board of directors. After the deal, he sold over $US7.1 billion worth of Facebook shares and was living the good life in Silicon Valley “resting and vesting,” a term used to describe engineers who have small workloads and high-priced stocks.

Jan Koum, WhatsAppDavid Ramos/Getty ImagesKoum sold WhatsApp to Facebook in 2014.

In 2018, Koum announced his departure from Facebook, saying in a blog post that he wanted to spend time growing his Porsche collection and playing Ultimate Frisbee.

About 45 minutes south of San Francisco and 20 minutes from the headquarters of Facebook, Google, and Tesla, Atherton has attracted Silicon Valley billionaires, including Meg Whitman, the former CEO of HP, and Eric Schmidt, the former Google chairman.

Atherton CaliforniaGoogle MapsAtherton, California, is the richest town in America, according to Bloomberg.

As for Koum himself, Variety reported that he also still owns an $US8.8 million home in Atherton, about a mile from the compound, that he purchased in 2015.

News of Koum’s sprawling compound joins other notable tech moguls’ recent real-estate purchases, including Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ $US80 million New York penthouse and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s $US22 million Lake Tahoe estate.

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