Max Levchin: from $ 700 in the pocket, to companies sold for hundreds of millions
The modern world can no longer be imagined without payment systems. They give us the opportunity to transfer funds to anywhere in the world just a couple of clicks.
However, once the services of this kind also seemed utopian, and they did not believe. Progress is only possible thanks to enthusiasts, one of whom was Max Levchin. A native of Kiev went down in history as the person who created the largest US payment system – PayPal.
Success story of Max Levchin
Max Levchin moved to the States at the age of 16 with his parents. According to him, they arrived with documents of a country that has already ceased to exist. In America, the family was in the status of political refugees. Levchin’s father is a famous artist of the Ukrainian SSR, and Max himself was named after the famous writer Maximilian Voloshin.
When a family application for political asylum was granted, the family moved to Chicago. According to Max, they arrived in the United States, with only $ 700 at all. In the States, Levchin was offered protection and opportunities. The future creator of PayPal entered the University of Illinois in the programming department.
Entrepreneurship interested him since his student days. He stood at the origins of the company NetMeridian, which was supposed to be one of the first developers of computer software of the new generation. However, it did not develop as the other three organizations of Max.
Levchin recalls that at that time he was very attracted to the Internet. He gave great opportunities. After completing the training, he moved to Silicon Valley and created his fifth company, with which he finally achieved success. It became PayPal.
In Silicon Valley, Max met with big businessman Peter Thiel. The two of them registered the FieldLink organization, which provided the storage of information in encrypted form. It was the last preparatory stage for PayPal. Levchin recalls that he often had to stay in the office and spend the night in a sleeping bag under the table. And the first apartment was furnished with boxes instead of furniture.
Levchin got rich after he sold the development of eBay in 2002. In total, the company managed to gain 1.5 billion dollars. Of these, Max received 34 million. By the time of the transaction, he was only 27 years old. According to the developer, thanks to the success of PayPal, he was able to support the development of many other organizations. In particular, Levchin was the first head of Yelp, and served on the board of directors of Yahoo! and Evernote. According to Max, he has invested in more than 100 enterprises in his entire career.
In addition, Levchin is the creator of Slide. In 2010, it was sold to Google for $ 182 million, and Max himself received the post of head of the engineering department of the IT giant. However, he worked there for a short time, and left office already in 2011. Now the developer is working on HVF, a company that specializes in financing organizations that use information.