Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg startled his audience at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday by saying that he thought WhatsApp was "worth more" than Facebook paid for it.
Facebook paid about $16 billion in cash and stock for WhatsApp, plus $3 billion in restricted stock options for its founders and employees.
That's $19 billion, or 19 times the amount his company paid for Instagram less than a year ago. It's more than five times the top offer Facebook made for SnapChat recently, before walking away from the table. It's almost twice what Microsoft paid in 2011 for its biggest-ever acquisition, the Internet video and voice-calling service Skype.
WhatsApp reportedly earned total revenues of about $20 million last year. It didn't even exist until 2009.
Is Zuckerberg crazy, or what?