Evan Spiegel is the co-founder of messaging app Snapchat (renamed to Snap in 2016). When all the other social media firms insisted on storing users’ pictures and videos forever to make profits, Snapchat allowed the information to disappear very quickly from users’ devices. This made Snapchat successful and Evan Spiegel a billionaire at 25.
10 things about Evan Spiegel
1. Spiegel was born and raised in California
Evan Spiegel was born in Los Angeles. Both his parents – John Spiegel and Melissa Ann Thomas – were lawyers. He went to Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences in Santa Monica and later attended Stanford University.
2. He had early jobs at Redbull and Intuit
Spiegel worked as an unpaid sales intern at Redbull. He later worked at the biomedical company Abraxis BioScience and Intuit.
3. The idea for Snapchat came from a class project at Stanford
In April 2011, he developed the idea of a messaging app for a product design class project. He worked with his Stanford classmates Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown to build a prototype of this concept. It was first called Picaboo, and it later became Snapchat. The app was an instant success. This made Spiegel drop out of Stanford even though he only needed a few more classes to complete his degree. But he completed his degree in 2018, six years after he dropped out to start Snapchat.
Snapchat was a unique messaging app because the recipients can only view the snaps for a very short amount of time. After that time limit, they are hidden from the recipient though they are not deleted from Snapchat’s servers.
4. He became a billionaire at age 25
In 2015, at age 25, he became a billionaire based on his interest in Snapchat, which was valued at $10 billion at the time. Snapchat went public in 2017. The stock rocketed 44% on its first day of trading. Though the stock has had its ups and downs over the years, Spiegel’s stake in the company has cemented his billionaire status.
5. He wrote misogynistic emails while at Stanford
In 2014, Gawker leaked the misogynistic and homophobic emails written by Spiegel when he was a student at Stanford. In the emails, Spiegel talked about encouraging women to drink heavily to have sex with them. He also encouraged underage drinking at college. After the emails were released, Spiegel apologized for the emails and said that his views toward women have changed considerably since his Stanford days.
6. Spiegel is married to Australian model Miranda Kerr
Spiegel is married to Australian model Miranda Kerr. They met at a 2014 Louis Vuitton dinner in New York. The couple has two sons. Kerr was a Victoria Secret’s Angel in 2007 and has done several modeling engagements for big brands. Kerr also has her line of organic skin care products.
7. He founded Snap Foundation with Bobby Murphy
In 2017, Spiegel founded a non-profit organization, Snap foundation, with another Snapchat founder Bobby Murphy and pledged to donate their 13 million Snap shares to art, education, and youth causes.
8. Spiegel owns American and French citizenship
He received French citizenship in 2018. French laws waive the residency requirements for citizenship if applicants contribute to French culture and the economy. His son Hart also received French citizenship.
9. He owns a lot of real estate
Like most billionaires, Spiegel spends his money on fancy houses and real estate. In 2016, he purchased the home previously owned by Harrison Ford. In 2021, he spent $100 million to buy the Holmby Hills Estate. He also owns a baroque estate in Paris, France where he lives part-time.
10. He paid off the Otis College of Art and Design graduating class’s student debt
Spiegel spoke at the 2022 Otis College of Art and Design commencement. He surprised the graduates by announcing that he will pay off the entire 2022 class’s student debt.