News In Brief

Facebook: Who owns a stake in the social media giant?

Jaclyn Giovis Jan 3, 2011

Social media behemoth Facebook reportedly landed a $450 million Goldman Sachs investment today, signaling the company has grown up enough to win some respect on Wall Street.

Until now, Facebook’s top investors were technology giant Microsoft and Digital Sky Technologies. Digital Sky is a Russian investment firm owned by Alisher Burkhanovich Usmanov, one Russia’s richest men. But there are others who have banked on Facebook’s success and hold a stake in the company’s future.

Unlike the open, tell-it-to-the-world philosophy Facebook encourages of its user “friends,” Facebook is a private company that keeps its finances and financiers under wraps. So here’s a list of Facebook’s known stakeholders — those that the company has confirmed or have been reported through major media outlets:

  • Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO.
  • Dustin Moskovitz, Facebook co-founder and former employee.
  • Eduardo Saverin, Facebook co-founder and former employee.
  • Chris Hughes, Facebook co-founder and former employee.
  • Goldman Sachs. This major investment bank made a $450 million investment in January 2011, according to the New York Times.
  • Digital Sky Technologies. This Russian investment firm made a $200 million investment in May 2009 for preferred stock at a $10 billion valuation, according to Facebook. It invested another $50 million in January 2011, according to the New York Times.
  • Microsoft. The technology giant made a $240 million equity stake in October 2007, according to Facebook.
  • Venture capital firms: Greylock Partners, Meritech Capital Partners and others invested a total of $25.5 million in April 2006, according to Facebook.
  • Accel Partners. This venture capital firm invested $12.7 million in May 2005, according to Facebook.
  • Sean Parker, Internet technology entrepreneur and former Facebook president. He’s co-founded Napster, Plaxo and Causes, and reportedly continues to assist Facebook in an unofficial capacity.
  • Peter Andreas Thiel, an American entrepreneur, hedge fund manager and venture capitalist, who co-founded PayPal and was its CEO. Thiel was an early investor in Facebook, contributing more than $500,000, according to Facebook. He currently sits on the company’s board of directors.
  • Sir Ka-shing Li, a wealthy businessman from Hong Kong and one of the richest persons in the world. Li invested an estimated $120 million through the Li Ka Shing Foundation, according to a Reuters report.
  • Matt Cohler, an American entrepreneur and venture capitalist and former Facebook employee.

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