Last week, CEO and co-founder Jan Koum of WhatsApp, the free mobile messaging app, donated one million dollars to FreeBSD. In a statement released by the FreeBSD Foundation, the donation was a landmark for the organization:
“This marks the largest single donation to the Foundation since its inception almost 15 years ago and serves as another example of someone using FreeBSD to great success and giving back to the community.”
Every year FreeBSD has a donation goal set – 2014’s goal was $1 million, and it appears that they had achieved close to $500,000 prior to Koum’s donation. QuadraNet also donated to the FreeBSD Foundation in March, earlier this year. As of yet, no details have been released on exactly what or how the donation will be used to support the organization. It will be interesting and exciting for the open source community to see what new innovations may be en route in the next few years because of the donation.
WhatsApp sold to Facebook for $22 billion dollars earlier this year, and Koum has a special attachment to FreeBSD, claiming that it was what helped him get his first real job at Yahoo.
“Years later, when Brian and I set out to build WhatsApp, we used FreeBSD to keep our servers running. We still do.”
It’s wonderful to see someone give back to something they truly believe in. Jan Koum’s hope is to bring awareness to FreeBSD in hopes that others will follow his lead and support the organization and other open source software in the future.