The Winklevoss twins Tyler and Cameron, collectively known as Winklevii, are trying their hand at social networking once more, and Mark Zuckerberg is nowhere in sight. Have this pair of multi-millionaires finally moved on from Facebook?
Those who think they don’t know who the Winklevoss twins are should cast their minds back to The Social Network, the film telling the story of how Facebook came to be. In the film, as in real life, Cameron and Tyler were an integral part of the story.
The short version is that Winklevii hired Mark Zuckerberg to work on Harvard Connection (later renamed ConnectU) while at Harvard University. Zuckerberg then created Facebook and parted ways with the twins. While one social network grew the other floundered, and there then began an almighty legal battle over whose idea Facebook was. The sides eventually settled, with Tyler and Cameron walking away richer than ever.
Now, Winklevii are getting back into the social networking game, investing $1 million in SumZero. This is an established private social network for professional investors. SumZero was founded by Divya Narendra, who just happens to be the other person involved with ConnectU in those early days.
This investment is the first made under the name of Winklevoss Capital, but it’s unlikely to be their last. Normally an investment of $1 million in a company wouldn’t be worthy of a news story, but due to the people involved and the nature of the business being invested in, this was deemed worthy of a lengthy write-up in The Wall Street Journal.
So it looks as though the Winklevoss twins are finally moving on from the Facebook litigation, with the caveat that the money they won as a settlement in that case forms part of their fortune; the fortune they’re now used to invest as Winklevoss Capital. To be fair Winklevii were already rich, but $20 million in cash and $100-plus worth of Facebook stock is not to be sniffed at.