Winklevoss Twins Join Another Social Network

By David Cohen 

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss — otherwise known as the Winklevoss twins or the Winklevii — are involved with a social network. What’s different is that this time, they are not claiming to have come up with the idea for it.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s classmates at Harvard University and eventual courtroom opponents are backing business partner Divya Narendra, who was also involved in the fight over Facebook, with $1 million to fund SumZero, which Narendra launched with another alumnus of the Crimson Tide, Aalap Mahadevia, in 2008.

According to the Journal, SumZero is a network where investors can exchange trading ideas and research, and it has some 7,500 members, each of which were personally reviewed by Narendra, who said he rejects about three-quarters of applications, even denying access to the Winklevoss twins until they invested in the site and became part-owners.

Narendra told the Journal, “We’re offering the site as an alternative to sell-side research,” adding that a weekly newsletter is available, with permission sought from users before including their materials. Members must regularly submit ideas to retain their access to the database, with that access being pulled for those who go six months without contributing, and users can follow each other and set up alerts.

A limited number of outside investors pay $129 per month for access to select content on SumZero, Narendra told the Journal, adding that the site may explore the option of charging large institutions for access.

SumZero will move into Winklevoss Capital’s offices near Madison Square Park in New York next month, with Tyler Winklevoss telling the Journal, “We want to get involved and really roll up our sleeves,” and Cameron Winklevoss adding:

We always saw ourselves in careers as entrepreneurs or angels. My favorite toy as a kid was Legos. I loved building things, and that’s what we’re doing with SumZero.

Readers: Do you think the Winklevii are onto something with SumZero?