Facebook IPO Turns L.A. Street Artist David Choe Into A Multi-Millionaire

David Choe

David ChoeWhen Los Angeles-based street artist David Choe took a stock offer over money years ago, it’s likely he didn’t expect it to pay out like this.

The 35-year-old Korean-American has achieved success in the world of art over the years, selling his work for thousands of dollars, being featured in gallery shows and exhibited in major museums. But, he’s set to receive his biggest payday ever.

Choe was commissioned by Facebook to paint their first office in Palo Alto, California back in 2005 by then-president Sean Parker … way before the social network became so integrated into the world we live in today.

Instead of getting paid, he gambled and took an equal value of shares of Facebook’s stock. That decision has made him a very rich man.

Now the social network, in one of the world’s most widely anticipated IPOs or initial public offerings of stock, has filed papers Wednesday (February 1) to raise at least $5 billion. That means Choe’s shares could be worth upward of $200 million when Facebook stock trades publicly later this year, according to the New York Times.

The paper says that Choe said he thought, at the time, that the idea of Facebook was “ridiculous and pointless”. Wow… he’s probably glad he didn’t think it was too ridiculous to do the job.

Facebook has more than 800 million active users today; and in 2011, eared profits of $1 billion on sales of $3.7 billion.

The Times calculated that ChoseĀ  — based on the word of a former Facebook employee who said “advisers” to the company at that time, such as Choe — would have received about 0.1 to 0.25 percent of the company. Based on a market value of $100 billion, his stake would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Now, that’s a big payout. Congrats to David Choe!

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