YouTube founders, backers got Google shares worth millions

The investors and founders of online video Web site YouTube received millions of dollars in Google shares from he deal between the two companies in October 2006, according to new documents.

The investors and founders of online video website YouTube received millions of dollars in Google shares as a result of the deal between the two companies late last year, according to new documents.

The big payout was revealed Wednesday in a regulatory filing Google made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The paperwork offered a more detailed account of the sale's beneficiaries than previously disclosed.

The $1.65-billion US acquisition announced in October was the biggest in Google's history, and took place less than two years after YouTube was founded. The startup had about 70 employees at the time.

In total, online search leader Google Inc. registered about 3.23 million Class A shares to issue to former YouTube stockholders, according to the filing.

YouTube's three founders and Sequoia Capital, its main financial backer, received the biggest windfalls.

Chad Hurley, YouTube's chief executive, was paid in Google shares with a current indicated value of more than $345 million US. He received 694,087 shares and an additional 41,232 in a trust.

Another founder, Steven Chen, received 625,366 shares and 68,721 in a trust, for more than $326 million US. Jarwed Karim, the third co-founder, received 137,443 Google shares, with an indicated value of $64.6 million US.

Sequoia Capital, the sole venture-capital backer of YouTube, received 941,027 shares, valued at about $442 million US.

At least two dozen YouTube employees received fewer shares. Stock was also divided up among dozens of limited partner investors in Sequoia Capital.

Since its website first began to catch on about a year ago, YouTube has relied on a mix of homemade and pirated videos to expand its audience.

Although YouTube has promptly removed pirated videos whenever copyright owners complained about violations, questions have lingered about the site's vulnerability to legal claims for distributing content owned by other media.

Google executives also have repeatedly vowed to protect the rights of copyright holders.