As posted on Evan Spiegel has already made $1.5 billion off Snapchat’s IPO

Evan Spiegel is worth $5 billion thanks to Snapchat

Evan Spiegel, worth at least $5 billion.
Evan Spiegel, worth at least $5 billion.

Image: larry busacca/Getty Images for Time Inc

Evan Spiegel is already a very rich man. But by the end of the day today, he’ll be a an even richerman.

Snap, Inc. — the company behind Snapchat — started trading Thursday morning in its initial public offering at the New York Stock Exchange. Going public means that $SNAP can start publicly trading as a stock, meaning you can go buy some right now. Before, the company was privately held, meaning there was no public market to buy and sell Snap shares. 

Spiegel’s stake in the company he co-founded is already valued in the billions, and could be worth even more if Snap shares see a lot of interest in their first day of trading.

Spiegel owns 21.8 percent of class A common stock in the “camera company,” as he likes to call it. With shares priced at $17 each, as Snap targeted, Spiegel shares are worth more than $5.2 billion. But the price of Snap stock — and Snap’s valuation as a company — could go up throughout the day, increasing Spiegel’s net worth by millions — and possibly even billions — in hours. 

With the $17 stock price, Snap is valued at $24 billion. The company aimed to raise $3 billion in capital through the IPO. 

Along with all his money, Spiegel and his co-founder will maintain control of the company. Spiegel’s 21.8 percent of stock along with co-founder Bobby Murphy’s 21.8 percent stake ensure that the two founders will still control Snap even once investors buy large stakes in the company, thanks in part to the company’s structure that gives different types of stock different voting power.

Spiegel, 26, made $2.4 million as CEO in 2016, but has said he will reduce his annual salary to $1 now that he’s a billionaire. 

All of this is pretty similar to one other IPO: Facebook’s. In 2012, Mark Zuckerberg became an instant billionaire 19 times over when Facebook went public (even if that IPO didn’t go as planned). Zuckerberg also cut his salary to $1. 

Snap’s IPO is the biggest tech IPO on Wall Street since then.