Zuckerberg And Facebook Investors To Cash In

Dominic Waghorn, US correspondent

In one day tomorrow Mark Zuckerberg could make as much money as Estonia does in a year, on paper at least.

The founder of Facebook stands to increase his net worth by an astronomical sum beyond mortal imagination with the company's flotation on the stock market.

He is not the only one. U2 frontman Bono and his private equity company also stand to make a killing out of the Initial Public Offering (IPO), more than the rock star ever did through music, years after cannily investing in the company early on.

Artist David Choe, who famously took stock instead of cash for painting murals in the first Facebook headquarters, will make an estimated \$200m (£126m).

The onomatopoeically named Hong Kong tycoon, Li Kashing , who presumably does not need another \$800m (£503m), can expect to make that kind of sum on top of the \$22bn (£14bn) he is already worth, because of his early investment in Facebook.

Along with them, a collection of Facebook founders and their friends, investors and bankers will have their bank balances topped up by amounts the rest of us can barely dream of.

One immediate impact it seems has been on property prices in the area where many of them live.

' Facebook IPO is juicing Silicon Valley real estate prices to crazy levels' is the headline in tech website Venturebeat.com.

It reports that "in the last two months Silly Valley is just getting plain ridiculous", with the number of million dollar plus prices up 159% since the IPO announcement.

Much is being made of the culture clash between the Facebook illuminati and Wall Street's Masters of the Universe, who from now will be taking a far closer interest in their business.

One Wall Street analyst recently criticised Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg for not wearing a suit and sporting a hooded sweatshirt instead, branding it "a mark of immaturity".

The comments may have attracted a disproportionate amount of coverage, but they say plenty about the changing dynamics now affecting Facebook and the people running it.

Zuckerberg's success lies in having a brilliant idea and executing it. The mission that has driven the company's management has been simple, enabling people to connect and communicate in a completely new way.

They are now answering to investors and Wall Street - running a business that will require improving performance quarter after quarter to justify its share price.

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes