1. Niklas Zennström, a famous entrepreneur of Swedish descent, was born on February 16, 1966. He is married to Catherine Zennström and they are currently residing in London.
2. Niklas has a tremendous academic background. He holds two degrees, one in business management and the other in engineering physics and computer sciences from Uppsala University in Sweden. Later, he spent the final year of his university at the University of Michigan.
3. He started his career at Tele2 with a vision to expand it across Europe. Tele 2 was a business idea that started with merely 23 employees, turned out to be the largest telecom operator not only in Europe but also across 23 different countries around the globe, after the success of Tele2 Niklas ventured into many new projects.
4. He is recognized worldwide for his high profile ventures like Kazaa in year 2001 and Skype in the year 2003; he co-founded these online ventures with Janus Friis. Niklas Zennström established Atomico an investment group and became a leading figure in technology industry.
5. Niklas has also served as the CEO at Joltid, a renowned software company that specializes in developing solutions that optimize internet traffic.
6. Niklas served as a CEO for Kazaa. This software became the most downloaded software of the world in the year 2003 – creating an incredulous hype about the concept of secure file sharing across various platforms.
7. He also holds the privilege to co-found “Altnet”, the most reliable and secure peer-to-peer network that helps in promoting and distributing online content. It was during his era as the CEO that Altnet became the largest issuer of the DRM licenses all across the world.
8. Niklas also actively participates in various outdoor sports and activities, which include skiing, sailing, and travelling. He is an enthusiastic Yachtsman and has won many titles in World’s major offshore races.
9. As a child, he used to go sailing, fishing and swimming in the Baltic Sea, but over time because of excess human activity Baltic lost its appeal and was polluted heavily. Due to his childhood memories associated with the Baltic, Niklas established fund specifically for the protection and improvement of the Baltic Sea and played his part in protecting the environment.
10. Niklas has always commented that Money is not central to philanthropy, although he himself has sold his most sought after business venture Skype to ebay for a total of 2.6 billion dollars just to become a philanthropist.
11. Niklas and his wife Catherine are keen to protect the environment. They have jointly set up a charity fund by the name of Zennström Philanthropies, whose main motive is to provide financing for projects that defend human rights, work in the arenas of climate change etc.
12. Skype, which was launched by Niklas, became a sensation worldwide soon after its launch in the year 2003. Historically, Skype is regarded as the fastest expanding Communication technology with one hundred and thirty six million users around the globe and this user base is ever increasing. Skype has expanded rapidly and is compatible with almost all the operating systems including MAC and PC and it can even be used on mobile phones.
13. Niklas is currently residing in London and running Atomico. Atomico is also revolutionary in a sense that it invests in expanding technological firms and transforms them completely. Through this venture, Niklas has invested in more than thirty firms including Last.fm, Rdio, Xobhi and Woome.
14. He is an inspiration for many emerging entrepreneurs and has been interviewed by leading journalists and publishing houses. His interview made its way in the Business Week on 19th September 2005, and The Sunday Times also did an editorial about him which was featured in their issue on 27th November 2005.
15. Niklas at the age of forty-four years has a net worth of over three hundred and twenty million pounds and he was listed in the Rich List, which was compiled by The Sunday Times in the year 2005.
16. It is also interesting to note that when Niklas came up with idea for Skype, no one believed in his venture and he had a hard time looking for investors to invest in his project. Niklas comments that he and co-founder of Skype Janus Friis went to twenty-six firms and tried to convince them to invest a total of 1.5 million Euros in their company. However, none of the investors were interested to invest in such a novel concept at that time. But later Niklas and Friis were able to come out of this financial crisis
17. Niklas came from a family where no one was an entrepreneur, he came from a humble background and both his parents were teachers by profession. However, even as a child Niklas had a vision to make it big and start his own company. By becoming such a successful entrepreneur, he not only has set an example for his family but he is a role model for aspiring entrepreneurs around the globe.
18. Apart from being an innovator in the world of information technology, it would not be absurd to call Niklas Zennstrom a philanthropist.
19. Not only has Niklas been given several awards for both entrepreneurship and innovation but also he has been recognized as one of the most influential men in the world. Based on his entrepreneurial and innovative achievements, it was in the year 2006, when the TIME magazine announced and covered Niklas as one if its 100 most influential people.
20. Joost, an online video distribution service, was another major venture that Niklas was a part of. It was in the year 2007 when Niklas along with Friis launched the aforementioned service and made a mark in the internet distribution service as well. The launch of Joost was made after the sale of Skype to ebay. Niklas acted as the co-chairman in this venture.