Richest BusinessCEOs
Net Worth:
$1.2 Billion
Dec 30, 1983 (40 years old)
Holliston, Massachusetts
Founder of Instagram
💰 Compare Kevin Systrom's Net Worth

What is Kevin Systrom's net worth?

Kevin Systrom is an American internet entrepreneur who has a net worth of $1.2 billion. Kevin Systrom is famous (and incredibly wealthy) thanks to the company he created, Instagram. Kevin co-founded Instagram with Mike Krieger. In April 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock.

Early Life and Education

Kevin Systrom was born on December 30, 1983, in Holliston, Massachusetts, the son of Diane, a marketing exec at Zipcar, and Douglas Systrom, Vice President in Human Resources at TJX Companies.

While attending Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, he developed an early interest in computer programming. As a kid, he created programs that would prank his friends by appearing to hack their AOL Instant Messenger Accounts. He played "Doom 2" and created his own levels in the game as a child. While attending high school, Systrom worked at vinyl record store Boston Beat.

He attended Stanford University where he studied engineering and management science and graduated in 2006. At Stanford, he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity. He built web programs in his free time. One of them was a photo site he set up so that his fraternity brothers could share pictures amongst themselves. This sparked his interest in photography. During his junior year abroad in Italy, a professor introduced Systrom to a Holga—a cheap camera with a cult following because of its retro style photos. Systrom fell in love with not only photography but with the aesthetic of the Holga photos. Systrom's first taste of the startup world was when he was chosen as one of twelve students to participate in the Mayfield Fellows Program at Stanford. This fellowship gave way to his internship at Odeo (the company that eventually gave rise to the behemoth that is now Twitter.)

Key Facts
  • Owned 40% of Instagram when he sold to Facebook for $1 billion
  • Accepted mostly Facebook stock in the deal
  • Instagram would be worth at least $100 billion today as an independent company
  • Resigned from Facebook in September 2019
  • Is responsible for unleashing "influencers" onto the planet
  • Would likely be worth $30-40 billion today had he never sold to Facebook


After his graduation from Stanford, Systrom landed at Google as an associate product marketing manager working on Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs, and other products. He was at Google for two years as their product marketer before he left out of frustration of not being moved into the Associate Product Manager program.

Systrom became interested in location-based apps like Foursquare. After leaving Google to join Nextstop, a location recommendation startup founded by ex Google employees, Systrom had the idea of combining location check-ins with popular social games. Systrom developed a prototype of the idea and pitched it to Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz at a party.


He co-founded the mobile check-in game called Burbn in 2010. Systrom had come up with the idea on a vacation in Mexico when his girlfriend was unsatisfied with all of her photos because they didn't look good enough when taken with the iPhone 4 camera. The solution was the use of filters over the photos. He quickly noticed that Burbn users loved the retro camera filter aspect of the app. He decided to quit his day job to explore whether or not Burbn could be a successful company. Within two weeks of quitting his job, Systrom received $50,000 of seed funding from Baseline Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.

In San Francisco, Burbn was being developed into a product that allowed users to do many things: check in locations, make plans via future check-ins, earn points for hanging out with friends, post pictures, and many more features. After several test runs, they concluded that Burbn had too many features that users didn't want. Therefore, the company then completely pivoted its entire purpose and re-branded as Instagram.  As you probably know, Instagram is the massively popular photo sharing app that allows smartphone users to share photos through various online social networks. Users can also give the photos a distinctive look thanks to digital filtering. This filter mostly serves to give the photos a kind of "retro" look, in homage to analog cameras from decades past such as the Kodak Instamatic and the Polaroid instant cameras.

Kevin Systrom net worth


Facebook Acquistion

On April 9th 2012, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that his company had agreed to purchase Instagram for $1 billion in cash and stock. At the time of acquisition, the company had just 13 employees. When Instagram was acquired, Kevin Systrom was 27 years old founder and owned 40% of the company. Since he took mostly Facebook stock, he was left with a paper net worth of $400 million immediately after the sale.

Fast forward two years, and the value of Systrom's Facebook stock had more than doubled, leaving him with a net worth of $800 million. Fast forward a few more years and the acquisition had given Systrom a net worth that at one point peaked at $2 billion. That's an impressive haul, no doubt, but considering Instagram's popularity and size today, it makes you wonder what Kevin would be worth today had he never sold. It has been said that Instagram today could be worth as much as $100 billion on its own. Today Instagram generates around $20 billion in revenue for Facebook parent company Meta.

Had Kevin not sold out in 2012 and instead took Instagram public at a $100 billion valuation while maintaining a 40% stake, he could have ultimately earned a paper net worth of $40 billion.

Under Systrom's leadership, Instagram developed key features throughout the years like the Explore tab, several filters, and videos. They also rolled out features allowing users to upload and filter short videos. In 2012 Instagram allowed for the development of web profiles and connecting accounts to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Flickr. By October 2015, 40 billion pictures had been shared on Instagram. One year later, Instagram had over 500 million active users. In 2017, Instagram employed around 450 people and the app was used by 600 million people per month and 300 million per day. In May 2017, Systrom integrated the use of the game-changing Instagram Stories. As of 2020, Instagram has 500 million users daily.

On September 24, 2019, Systrom resigned from Instagram and Facebook.

Personal Life

Systrom married Nicole Schuetz, founder and CEO of clean-energy investment first Sutro Energy Group, on October 31, 2016 in Napa, California. They met when they were both students at Stanford and were engaged in 2014. The pair welcomed a daughter, Freya Systrom, in June 2018.

Real Estate

In March 2013 Kevin paid $5.5 million for a 5-bedroom, 7-bathroom, 6,000 square-foot mansion in San Francisco.

In 2019 Kevin and wife Nicole completed construction on an incredible lakefront mansion in Lake Tahoe. They purchased the property several years earlier and Kevin proposed to Nicole on the dock out front.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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