Swedish internet entrepreneur Niklas Zennström is known for co-founding several highly successful online startups along with tech-entrepreneur Janus Friis. Together they founded Skype, a peer-to-peer telephony application and Kazaa, a peer-to-peer file sharing application. His other ventures include Joltid and Joost.
Zennström started his early professional career in 1993 at Tele2, a leading European telecom operator. While working at Tele2, he took several executive level responsibilities including working as the CEO of Everyday.Com.
In 2001, he teamed up with Janus Friis and together they co-founded a peer-to-peer file sharing application Kazaa, which became the world’s most downloaded Internet software by 2003. Later, Kazaa was sold to Sharman Networks for an undisclosed amount. The same year in the month of August, they founded Skype and Zennström took over as the chairman of the company. In less than 6 months, Skype became the most successful internet voice communication tool with monthly download that exceeded 5 million mark. As of now, there are over 600 million registered users of skype. In 2005, Skype was acquired by eBay for $3.1 billion and in 2011 once again it was over taken by Microsoft for a staggering $8.5 billion cash.
Niklas Zennström completed his degrees in Business and MSc in Physics/Computer Science from Uppsala University in Sweden, and the University of Michigan respectively. He has received numerous awards and appreciations for his innovation and entrepreneurship.
In 2006, he was featured in Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.