Winklevoss twins get back to social networking with investment

The brothers who claimed Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook have invested $1 million in a social network aimed at investors, The Wall Street Journal reports.

A jab at Mark Zuckerberg? Winklevoss twins do a pistachio commercial
The Winklevoss in a recent TV commercial for pistachios. YouTube

The Winklevoss twins, best known for their courtroom battles with Mark Zuckerberg over Facebook, are taking another stab at the social-networking sector.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss have made a $1 million investment SumZero, a social network aimed at professional investors, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company was founded in 2008 by former Harvard classmates Aalap Mahadevia and Divya Narendra, the latter of which was a party to the Winklevoss twins' lawsuit that claimed they were misled about Facebook's value.

The case stemmed from a settlement the Winklevosses and Narendra signed with Facebook in 2008 after claiming Zuckerberg stole their idea for a social-networking site they called ConnectU, the basis for the 2010 movie "The Social Network." The trio accepted a $65 million settlement from Facebook and Zuckerberg in exchange for dropping all further litigation against the site but later said the settlement was based on an inaccurate valuation of the company .

They filed suit to undo the pact after it was revealed Microsoft paid $240 million in 2007 to acquire a 1.6 percent share of Facebook, giving social network a $15 billion valuation. The Winklevoss twins and Narendra claimed they were led to believe that Facebook's valuation was about a quarter of that.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Facebook and Zuckerberg last year, upholding the 2008 settlement. The trio threatened to take their case to the U.S. Supreme Court but later retreated and dropped their claim .

In February, the twins formed Winklevoss Capital , and their first investment in June was SumZero. The site, which claims about 7,500 members, accepts only investors who work on the "buy side" -- hedge funds, mutual funds, and private-equity firms. Wall Street bank analysts are not allowed.

The site, which says it rejects 75 percent of those who apply, allows users to follow each other's activity and requires members to regularly submit trading ideas to the network. Those who don't lose access to the database, the Journal reported.

 

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