Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger of San Francisco will be among the First Lady’s guests at the State of the Union tomorrow night, a White House official said – a sign that President Obama probably will speak about the need for immigration policy reform that welcomes and retains high-tech talent from abroad.
Instagram is a free iPhone application that lets a user snap a photo; choose a filter to transform the image’s colors, mood, border, and tonality; and then share it via Facebook, Twitter or Flickr.
Krieger was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and moved to California in 2004 to study computer science and cognitive science at Stanford University. After graduation, he worked for a year on his F-1 student visa and then later received an H-1B visa as a high-skilled worker; he’s now seeking a green card.
He and Kevin Systrom co-founded Instagram in 2010. TechCrunch reported in October that Systrom said Instagram had passed the 12 million user mark and continued to grow white-hot, carried in part by intense interest in Asia.
According to Instagram’s website, the company raised a $500,000 seed round from Andreessen-Horowitz and Baseline Ventures, and a $7 million Series A from Benchmark Capital and a small group of angel investors. Although they intend to keep the core product free, they’ll sell extra add-ons like special filters and they “plan to experiment with different models as we grow and learn what special value we can provide to the community to make their collective experience more engaging, exciting and useful.”