A sharp rise in share price of social networking giant Facebook has helped the personal wealth of its 29 year-old CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg soar by a massive $15 billion or Rs 91,500 crore ($1=Rs 61) in less than two years.
Zuckerberg's fortune has soared to about $33 billion (Rs 201,300 crore), from $18 billion (Rs 109,800 crore) on May 18, 2012 when the company went public. This has come on the back of investors showing huge interest in Facebook shares amid the company beginning to make money from its mobile platform.
Within two years of entering the stock market, the share value of Facebook has soared over 80 per cent to $68.46 apiece on February 28, up from $38 per share on its debut on Nasdaq stock exchange.
According to a latest regulatory filing, Zuckerberg holds 478,914,465 shares of Facebook, which accounted for 19.6 per cent of all outstanding shares.
At the debut price of $38 each, his holding of nearly 479 million shares was worth about $18 billion.
However, at the company's latest traded price of $68.46 apiece, this holding is now worth about $33 billion-- which marks a surge of about $15 billion.
Facebook made a dismal stock market debut in May 2012 as investors dumped the stock amid concerns over growth prospects of the social networking firm.
However, Facebook bounced back smartly and the share price has gained ground especially in the wake of the company seeing a surge in its revenues from mobile advertising.
In order to sustain and strengthen its position in the social networking space, Facebook has adapted a business model as per the rapid increase in users' preference towards mobiles over desktop computers.
The networking giant, which celebrated its 10 years of existence last month, has more than 1.23 billion users across the world. On February 19, Facebook announced it is buying leading messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion (Rs 1,15,900 crore).
A rising share price has also helped Facebook's market capitalisation grow to over $150 billion currently, from about $104 billion at the time of listing.
The social networking firm's fourth quarter net profit jumped to $1.5 billion from $523 million a year earlier.
Besides, the company's revenues rose to $2.58 billion from $1.58 billion for the year.
Advertising revenue surged to $2.34 billion in the quarter and revenues from mobile segment contributed more than half of that figure.
(1$= Rs 61)