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"It's a decidedly contrarian approach shaped by Jan's experience growing up in a communist country with a secret police," Goetz wrote.

He was born an only child in Ukraine, in a rough rural village outside Kiev, in a house with no hot water.

An ex-girlfriend detailed incidents in which she said Koum verbally and physically threatened her.

In October 2014, Koum said about the restraining order, "I am ashamed of the way I acted, and ashamed that my behavior forced her to take legal action". In September 2007 Koum and Acton left Yahoo and took a year off, traveling around South America and playing ultimate frisbee. In January 2009, he bought an i Phone and realized that the then-seven-month-old App Store was about to spawn a whole new industry of apps.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jan Koum, 37, grew up mostly in the Ukraine, and moved to Mountain View, California, as a teenager, an immigrant path reminiscent of other Silicon Valley successes such as Max Levchin, the Ukrainian-born co-founder of Paypal, and Google's Russian-born co-founder, Sergey Brin.

Like technology titans Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, Koum dropped out of college, but in his case, it was San Jose State rather than Harvard.