Winklevoss twins back with social network for hedge funders

Sep 17, 2012

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss reunite with Harvard social network collaborator Divya Narendra

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THE WINKLEVOSS twins, best known for taking Mark Zuckerberg to court over the question of who had the idea for Facebook, have invested in another social network.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have put $1m into SumZero, a website where hedge funders can go to exchange ideas, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The Winklevoss brothers' new investment sees them teaming up once more with Divya Narendra, who worked with them in their Harvard days to create the student social network HarvardConnection.

The events surrounding the development of this website later became the subject of the Winklevoss brothers' legal action against Zuckerberg, a fellow Harvard student, and Facebook.

In a settlement with Zuckerberg last year, the Winklevoss twins reportedly received $20m in cash and $45 million in Facebook shares. (That was when Facebook was worth $15bn - it is now worth $47bn.) Since then, they have set up an investment vehicle called Winklevoss Capital, which they used, in June, to buy a share of SumZero.

The Winklevoss brothers' new social network, which has been run by Narendra for four years, has a significant similarity with the early version of Facebook, notes the Wall Street Journal: exclusivity.

SumZero only allows investors who work on the 'buy side' - employees of hedge funds, mutual funds, and private-equity firms - to join. 'Sell side' analysts, for example staff at Wall Street banks, are not allowed.

Apparently, the appeal for members is the chance to get investment tips from other investors. The site also forces members to be active: anyone who doesn't submit a trading idea for six months is kicked off until the next time they do so.

SumZero currently has only 7,500 members and Narendra says he personally reads every application to join: 75 per cent are rejected. He says even the Winklevoss twins weren't allowed access until they bought in.

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