Niklas Zennstrom Net Worth & Biography
|Popular Name:||Niklas Zennström|
|Real Name:||Niklas Zennström|
|Birth Date:||16 February 1966|
|Birth Place:||Järfälla, Sweden|
|Profession:||Businessman, Entrepreneur, Investor|
|Net Worth:||$1.3 Billion|
Niklas Zennström is a co-founder, director, and chief executive officer of Atomico. He is an experienced technology entrepreneur and investor, having previously co-founded and managed successful technology companies including Kazaa, Skype, and Joltid. Niklas founded the venture capital firm, Atomico in 2006 to help entrepreneurs, mainly from Europe, to scale their businesses globally. The firm has partnered with and provided support to a growing number of successful technology companies around the world, including Climate Corp, Supercell, Rovio, Klarna, Graphcore, and many more. In addition to managing Atomico’s strategy, this businessman works closely with a number of founders of companies and maintains positions on the boards of Farmdrop, Varjo, Lilium, Mapillary, Pipedrive, and Oden Technologies. Prior to Atomico, Niklas co-founded Skype with fellow internet entrepreneur Janus Friis. He has also co-founded and managed countless other globally successful technology businesses as a mark of his grasp on the tech industry.
Early Life: Childhood, Education
Niklas Zennström was born on 16 February 1966, in Järfälla, Sweden. He holds dual degrees in Business from Uppsala University in Sweden. He earned his Masters in Engineering Physics/Computer Science from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and spent his final year in the United States studying at the University of Michigan.
Professional Life: Entrepreneurial Career
It was in 1991 that Niklas Zennström started his professional career at the European telecom company Tele2. He went on to serve in various strategic roles, including launching the European Internet Service Provider business get2net and being responsible for its operations, in addition to serving as the chief executive officer of the everyday.com portal.
In 2000, he co-founded the file-sharing application Kazaa with Janus Friis. He served as the program’s chief executive officer and helped it to become the world’s most downloaded Internet software by the year 2003. Kazaa was eventually sold to Sharman Networks after lawsuits were filed by groups in the music and motion picture industry in the United States.
Up next, Zennström founded Joltid and served as its chief executive officer. He also co-founded Altnet, before going on to co-found a telephony company based on peer-to-peer principles called Skype, which to date, is arguably his most notable success. Skype was acquired by eBay for $2.6 billion in 2005. Zennström served as Skype’s chief executive officer from the company’s inception until September 2007. Under his leadership, Skype became a leader in Internet voice communications in the world with more than 309 million registered users in about five years of launch.
Moving on with his career after registering success with Skype, Zennström launched the online video distribution service Joost in 2007, and led the company as a co-chairman. Two years later, he joined a group of investors that bought Skype from eBay and re-joined the Skype board.
Currently, the businessman is completely concerned with the day-to-day activities at Atomico. Based in London, England, the company mainly invests in promising tech companies with the ability to turn their respective industries around. Through Atomico, Niklas and his partners have invested in more than 50 companies on four continents, including Skype, Fab, Klarna, Last.fm, Fon, Supercell, Rovio, and Rdio.
In May 2011, Microsoft paid $8.5 billion to acquire Skype. It is reported that Zennström and his business partner Friis made roughly $1 billion between them from the deal.
Personal Life: Family, Charity Works, Personal Interests
Niklas is the President of the European Tech Alliance (EUTA) and helps support the European tech ecosystem through EUTA, a group of fast-rising tech companies that have all been started in Europe. He founded Zennström Philanthropies with his wife, Catherine, in 2007, through which they focus on strategically two areas: human rights and the environment. Furthermore, Niklas is the founder of the Race for the Baltic, an organization for a well-managed Baltic Sea, one of the world’s most threatened major bodies of water.
Niklas is also a devoted yachtsman and has won 4 World Championships with his yacht racing team, called Rán.
In November 2014, he was inducted into SUP46’s Swedish Startup Hall of Fame.
Niklas Zennstrom Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets
Mr. Niklas Zennstrom has a net worth of about $1.3 billion. The Swedish entrepreneur has been able to earn such an amount of money through his investments in Kazaa, Skype, and over forty other globally successful companies.
Born and brought up in Sweden, Zennstrom is currently the co-chairman of Joost and a partner/chief executive officer of Atomico, which he also co-founded. He embarked on his professional career in 1991 before meeting and teaming up with Janus Friis to set up Kazaa and a host of other similar businesses. His breakthrough came with the success of Skype, a mobile application that turned into the chief leader in Internet voice communications globally, attracting millions of registered users from all corners of the world. Apart from being an innovative entrepreneur, this highly-gifted Swede loves to spend his time skiing, sailing, or offshore racing.