Gowalla Employees Score At Instagram

Austin-based Gowalla, the defunct location-based social networking startup acquired--and shut down--by Facebook in December, was not a huge success for Gowalla's investors, founders, or employees. However, it looks like two Gowalla employees hit the jackpot this week when Facebook agreed to buy photo sharing app maker Instagram. According to PandoDaily, two former Gowalla employees in Austin--Philip McAllister and Tim Van Damme--were lucky enough to join Instagram before Facebook made its acquisition--a move bound to be worth far more than Facebook's buy of Gowalla. Both McAllister and Van Damme decided to join Instagram--instead of Facebook--just three months ago, bypassing offers by Facebook to hire former Gowalla employees. Assuming reasonable stock option offers to the two former Gowalla employees, their share of Instagram's $1 billion is bound to be huge.