26-year-old innovator cashes in on $1.1 billion Tumblr sale

By | News & Politics
David Karp, the brains behind social media sensation Tumblr, made Forbes' 30 Under 30 list this year as one of the world's richest young entrepreneurs.

At the age of 26, David Karp has just cashed in on $1.1 billion as his blogging platform turned social media sensation, Tumblr, was bought out by Yahoo on Monday.

According to Forbes, the young entrepreneur’s net worth already exceeded $200 million before the buy-out. Karp is now set to join a list of inspiring billionaires who have become international household names by building from the ground up, including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Ralph Lauren.

At the age of 11, Karp began building websites for local businesses after reading HTML for Dummies. The New York native went on to intern at an animation company called Frederator Studios when he was fourteen. A few years later, Karp was snapped up by UrbanBaby, a New York-based parenting forum, becoming their chief technology officer.  UrbanBaby were completely unaware that Karp was a 17-year-old until four months after he began working for the site.

After the company was sold to CNET in 2006, Karp drew on his years of experience and ventured out to set up his own business partly dedicated to selling his own products but mainly offering software consultancy services.

Within one year, Tumblr was born, accumulating 75,000 registered users within two weeks of its launch. It now hosts well over 108 million blogs and boasts a 175-strong workforce.

Announcing the Yahoo deal in a blog post, Karp wrote that he was “elated” by the agreement.

Yahoo’s CEO and President, Marissa Mayer, allayed fears that her company would change the face of the social media platform that billions have grown to love. “Tumblr is incredibly special and has a great thing going,” she said.

Tumblr will operate independently but will benefit from Yahoo’s “personalization technology and search infrastructure to help its users discover creators, bloggers and content,” according to Mayer. In return, Yahoo can now look forward to a boost of 50 billion blog posts that Tumblr will pump into its search engines and media networks.

“The two companies will also work together to create advertising opportunities that are seamless and enhance user experience,” she added.

Karp, who will remain CEO of Tumblr, assured followers that the platform will continue working with its current team and will maintain its motivational mission to “empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve”.

“Simply, Tumblr gets better faster,” he said.

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