Who invented google and what famous faces gave early investment? Here’s everything you need to know about the trillion dollar company that started in a garage 23 years ago
Image: SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Internet users will notice today that Google ’s doodle features a cake with the number “23” written on top of it, along with a birthday candle instead of an “L”.
This slight change in Google’s logo comes as a result of the trillion dollar company celebrating its 23rd birthday.
The American multitech company was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who were Ph.D students at Stanford University in California, on September 4, 1998.
It has since become not only the most used search engine in the world, but also a multinational technology company that shapes and defines every aspect of our online lives — from image storage, to maps and social media.
Where did Google start?
Despite being officially launched in 1998, Google was a research project that originally began in 1996 by PhD students, Larry Page, Sergey Brin.
The unofficial third founder, Scott Hassan, was the original lead programmer who wrote much of the code for the first Google search engine.
Scott left the project before the company was founded to pursue a career in robotics instead.
Google was founded after the Stanford students came up with an algorithm called PageRank.
PageRank determined a website’s relevance by the number of pages and the importance of those pages linked to their website.
Why is Google called ‘Google’?
AFP via Getty Images)
Larry and Sergey originally nicknamed their innovative new search engine “BackRub” as a result of their new system checking backlinks to estimate the importance of a website.
Google was a play on the word “googol” which corresponds to the number 1 followed by 100 zeros – Larry and Sergey picked this name to show that google could pick an important quantity of information.
Early Google investors
By September 15 1997, the domain name www.google.com was registered, and the following year, the company was incorporated after being funded in August 1998 with a $100,000 investment from Andy Bechtolsheim, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems.
Other notable investors such as Jeff Bezos also handed money to the company which was then based in the garage of Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s current CEO, in Menlo Park, California.
Between angel investors, friends, family and more, Google managed to raise approximately $1 million.
Following new investments through 1998 and 1999, Google received an additional $25 million.
In March 1999, Google’s offices moved from Menlo Park to Palo Alto, in the Silicon Valley. The company started selling advertisements associated with search keywords.
By 2000, it was announced that Google was to become the default search engine provider for Yahoo!, replacing Inktomi.
In 2001, Google’s investors wanted the fast-growing company to have a strong internal management. As a result, Google agreed to hire Eric Schmidt as their chairman and CEO, a role Eric has kept until 2011.
Future via Getty Images)
In 2003, the company outgrew several locations before creating the Googleplex in Mountain View, California. Additionally, the word “google” was added to the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary.
How much is Google worth?
In 2004, Google became a public company and offered 19,605,052 shares at a price of $85 per share.
Following online auctions with a sale of $1.67 billion, Google earned market capitalisation of more than $23 billion.
Google went on to acquire several other companies such as YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock.
By 2011, the number of monthly unique visitors on Google surpassed one billion for the first time, resulting in the company handling approximately 3 billion searches per day.
In 2020, the groundbreaking search engine made the jump from being a $900 billion worth company to a $1 trillion one in market value.
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