8 things about Tumblr's young, rich founder

David Karp, 26, becomes tech's newest mega-millionaire after Yahoo buys his company for $1.1 billion.

By Kim Peterson May 20, 2013 12:42PM
David Karp, founder and CEO of Tumblr, speaks at 2012 Internet Week New York conference in New York on May 16, 2012 (© Ramin Talaie/Corbis)David Karp will soon be very rich.

The 26-year-old New Yorker is selling Tumblr, the blogging platform he started in his mother's apartment in 2007. Yahoo (YHOO) is buying Tumblr for $1.1 billion, which vaults Karp into the small club of computer geeks who became instant mega-millionaires in corporate buyouts.

Here are eight things you may not know about Karp:

1. He dropped out of high school and didn't go to college. He spent just one year at the Bronx High School of Science before dropping out, reports The New York Daily News. He was home-schooled for the remainder of his high school education.

2. He already lives well. He has a $1.6 million loft in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, that he shares with girlfriend Rachel Eakley, a graduate student studying psychology.

3. He had a comfortable upbringing. He grew up in Manhattan's posh Upper West Side. His father was a music composer who created songs for movies and television shows, and his mother was a teacher, according to The Daily Mail. His parents separated when he was 17.

4. He moved to Tokyo at age 17 for several months. He learned Japanese and developed his own software for playing card games, reports The Telegraph. "I was holed up in the middle of this world where it was just me on the Internet," he said, according to The Guardian.

5. He sold 25% of Tumblr as part of a $4.5 million funding round in 2008. He did it to make enough money to keep Tumblr going. The buyers were two venture capital companies: Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital.

6. He loves riding his Vespa. "I've always wanted a motorcycle, and I thought a Vespa was a good first step," he told Inc Magazine. "It's a lot cheaper than cabs for getting around the city. It costs $5 to fill it up, and a tank of gas lasts all week." He also likes to drive cool cars, and joined the Classic Car Club in Manhattan, which lets you borrow cars like a 1996 Porsche 993 Carrera for the weekend.

7. He's a photography nut. In 2011, he bought his dream camera, a Leica M9, and he has personally taken most of the Tumblr employee photos, according to Inc.

8. He loves to sleep. "Sleep is precious to me," he told Inc. "I'm very disappointed if I don't go to bed before midnight. We have a rule: no laptops in the bedroom. Being on computers all the time makes me feel gross."

More on moneyNow

Tags: YHOO
May 20, 2013 2:22PM
He dropped out but was home schooled for the remainder of his high school education.  Using statistical freaks like this to discourage a college education is lame.  Yes, people get stupid/useless degrees and take on way too much debt but for most people a marketable college degree increases the odds of, but does not guarantee long term success.  What the heck, LeBron James never went to college just be an NBA star.  Or be like like Lady GaGa, she didn't graduate college.  The vast majority of high school drop outs will live a financially desperate lives.  Yes there are well paying blue collar jobs also, so I am not saying college is the ONLY way to financial success.
May 20, 2013 2:38PM
Is it really to discourage folks from going to college are is it just to point out that College isn't the end all, be all, some folks make it out to be.
May 20, 2013 1:30PM
More proof that the biggest success stories, don't finish college. Heck, this guy never finished high school. College Grads working for College and High School dropouts. That's America.
May 20, 2013 7:30PM
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?


[BRIEFING.COM] The stock market finished the Thursday session on a higher note with the S&P 500 climbing 0.5%. The benchmark index registered an early high within the first 90 minutes and inched to a new session best during the final hour of the action.

Equities rallied out of the gate with the financial sector (+1.1%) providing noteworthy support for the second day in a row. The growth-oriented sector extended its September gain to 1.9% versus a more modest uptick of 0.4% for the ... More