Winklevoss Twins Back ‘Facebook’ for Investors with $1 Million
(NEW YORK) — The Winklevoss twins, made famous by their connection to the Facebook start-up, are back in the Internet game with a $1 million investment in a social media site for investors.
Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss had agreed to a settlement last year with fellow Harvard alum Mark Zuckerberg over their claim that they were behind the premise of Facebook, reportedly at least $65 million in cash and Facebook stock, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In February, the twins created Winklevoss Capital and their first investment was in SumZero, which describes itself as the “world’s largest community of hedge fund, mutual fund, and private equity professionals.”
Divya Narendra, CEO of Sum Zero and a Harvard classmate who had sided with the Winklevoss twins in the legal suit with Facebook, and another alum, Aalap Mahadevia, founded the company in 2008.
The company revealed this weekend that the twins had invested in the startup.
Narendra said involving Tyler and Cameron is “fantastic purely from an investment perspective” and he has the “utmost confidence in bringing them on-board.”
“But more important: They have tremendous knowledge about the Internet, the media and how to run a top-notch website, which will help SumZero evolve as a business,” he said in a statement. “They are ready, willing and able to get involved in the nitty-gritty of SumZero’s operations.”
The company calls itself a “reciprocity-based platform, meaning that members are required to share certain pieces of information in order to draw from the intellectual product of thousands of SumZero members.”
The site also allows for members to expand their networks and “further professional opportunities within the industry,” according to the company description on its website.
The Winklevoss brothers said SumZero, which is based in New York City, is “precisely the type of business around which Winklevoss Capital will be built.”
“SumZero is making serious inroads in capturing a previously untouched segment of the marketplace (i.e. buyside investment research), Divya has hired a dedicated and talented team around him to accelerate the product, and the sky is the limit in terms of potential,” they said in a statement.
SumZero has about 7,500 members who have to be on the “buy side” of the investment business and whose applications are vetted by Narendra personally. He rejects about 75 percent of them, the Journal reported.
Members use the site for free, but if they do not submit trading ideas for six months, they lose access to the site’s database. Investors who are not members of the site can pay $129 a month for a “small number of investment ideas” that Narendra chooses after getting permission from their authors, the Journal reported.
Being consumed in litigation with Zuckerberg for the past several years, was not the only activity of the brothers.
The two were also competitive rowers who had also tried to compete in the London Olympics, up until late last year when they gave up their attempt.
Almost exactly one year ago, the twins, who had become famous through their depiction in the film, The Social Network, starred in a commercial for Wonderful Pistachios.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio