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David Karp

David Karp, born July 6, 1986, is an American web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of the short-form blogging platform Tumblr. According to Forbes, Karp’s net worth exceeds $200 million (US), and Tumblr has been valued at $800 million.

On May 20, 2013, it was announced that Yahoo! and Tumblr had reached an agreement for the search engine to acquire Tumblr for $1.1 billion (US). Karp would remain as CEO of the company.

Karp began his career as an intern under Fred Seibert at animation company Frederator Studios, where he built the studio’s first blogging platform and conceived, wrote and edited their first internet video network, Channel Frederator.

Karp went on to work for online parenting forum UrbanBaby until it was sold to CNET in 2006. Karp then started his own software consulting company, Davidville, where he worked with computer engineer Marco Arment on projects for clients.

During a gap between contracts in 2006, the two began work on a microblogging website, which was launched as Tumblr in February 2007. As of June 11, 2013, Tumblr hosts over 114 million blogs.

Born and raised in a Jewish family in New York City, Karp grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. His parents are Barbara Ackerman, a teacher from San Anselmo, California, and Michael D. Karp, a film and television composer.

Karp attended the Calhoun School from age 3 through 8th grade, where his mother teaches science.  At 11, he began learning HTML and was soon designing websites for local businesses. Karp went on to attend Bronx Science for one year before dropping out at the age of 15 and started homeschooling.

At the time, Karp had aspirations of getting into a college in New York or MIT and saw homeschooling and doing other projects on the side as a way to impress the colleges. Karp never returned to high school or earned his high school diploma.

Tumblr was launched in February 2007 and within two weeks, the service had gained 75,000 users.

In October 2007, Karp shut down his consultancy business as his work with Tumblr was interfering with his client work. Davidville was renamed Tumblr, Inc. and 25 percent of the company was sold to a small group of investors.

As of September 2011, Karp’s partner is Rachel Eakley, a chef and psychology graduate. They live together in Williamsburg with their pet dog, Clark.

Image Caption: David Karp in 2007. Credit: Marco Arment/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)

David Karp


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