Snapchat co-founder Bobby Murphy
ABS CBN News:
The Filipino-American co-founder of Snapchat is the world’s second youngest billionaire on Forbes’ Billionaire list.
Bobby Murphy, 26, is estimated to be worth $1.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine. The baby-faced Murphy made his fortune from Snapchat, along with his friend Evan Spiegel, who at 24, is the world’s youngest billionaire.
Snapchat is a popular temporary photo messaging app. It is currently valued at $10 billion and has 100 million users a month. Forbes estimates both Murphy and Spiegel have a 15 percent stake each in Snapchat.
Murphy, whose mother emigrated from the Philippines, grew up in Berkley, California. Murphy and Spiegel met while they were students at Stanford University. They were both members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Murphy was a mathematics and computational science major, while Spiegel was in the product-design program.
In an interview with Forbes magazine in 2013, Murphy said they “weren’t cool (in college), so we tried to build things to be cool.”
They first worked together to develop an online software called Future Freshmen, but it didn’t take off. For their next project, a fellow Stanford student and friend, Reggie Brown (who would later sue the company for ownership), came up with suggestion for an app to send disappearing photos.
Spiegel decided to tap Murphy, who had just graduated, to develop the app. It was originally named Picaboo.
After the company received a cease-and-desist letter from a photobook company of the name, they changed the app to “Snapchat.” Spiegel called this the “biggest blessing ever.”
“Evan and I got started Snapchat in the summer of 2011, basically understood that visual content that was the most engaging, interesting form of content there was. We wanted to create a way that would enable that to be a means of communication, rather than a piece of content around which communication actually happens,” Murphy said during a Google Cloud Platform Live session in 2014.
Spiegel is the good-looking, outspoken public face of Snapchat, while Murphy, the chief technology officer (CTO), is the brains who developed the app. Little is known about Murphy, who was described by Forbes, as the son of state employees from Berkeley.
“I’d describe him almost like a monk,” David Kravitz, Snapchat’s first employee, told Forbes in 2013. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him upset.”
Snapchat founders Evan Spiegel (left) and Bobby Murphy at the Time 100 gala in New York, April 29, 2014.