I’m intrigued by three former Harvard students. Divya Narendra, and the Winklevoss Twins, or the “Winklevii”, as the Twitterverse calls them. For those who don’t know, Divya Narendra, Tyler Winklevoss, and Cameron Winklevoss are credited by many with having invented the Facebook concept while students at Harvard University, and creating a prototype, then hiring fellow student Mark Zuckerberg to build on the basic software and create a more complex system. What happened next is the subject of several court actions: Zuckerberg either stole their software and used it to create his version of Facebook, or created something original from scratch. A lot of this is addressed in the 2010 movie The Social Network, based on the book Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich.
But … whatever happened to the Winklevoss Twins, and to Divya Narendra? For one thing, the twins eventually won a $65 million settlement against Facebook, a company that was valued by Forbes in a Feb. 21 article at $67.8 billion.
But what are they doing now?
According to the Wall Street Journal, Divya Narendra co-founded a site called SumZero, which is a social network for professional investors. He created it with fellow Harvard alum Aalap Mahadevia.
And now the Winklevii are investing as well. “The band is back together”, the Journal quotes Tyler Winklevoss as saying.
The twins created Winklevoss Capital as a legal entity to invest the proceeds from the Facebook settlement, and SumZero is their first investment.
The concept is based on exclusivity. Only qualified active investors are permitted access to the database, and only if they pass the application process. Narendra personally reviews each application and reportedly rejects about 75 percent of them. Once accepted, a user cannot simply lurk and monitor the work of others, but must maintain a certain level of activity to stay involved.
It’s an intriguing concept that draws an active group of participants and weeds out others, resulting in an exclusive high-quality community.
The official website is at SumZero.com.