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Entries in Cameron Winklevoss (5)

Monday
Sep172012

Winklevoss Twins Back ‘Facebook’ for Investors with $1 Million

Noah Berger/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Winklevoss twins, made famous by their connection to the Facebook start-up, are back in the Internet game with a $1 million investment in a social media site for investors.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss had agreed to a settlement last year with fellow Harvard alum Mark Zuckerberg over their claim that they were behind the premise of Facebook, reportedly at least $65 million in cash and Facebook stock, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In February, the twins created Winklevoss Capital and their first investment was in SumZero, which describes itself as the “world’s largest community of hedge fund, mutual fund, and private equity professionals.”

Divya Narendra, CEO of Sum Zero and a Harvard classmate who had sided with the Winklevoss twins in the legal suit with Facebook, and another alum, Aalap Mahadevia, founded the company in 2008.

The company revealed this weekend that the twins had invested in the startup.

Narendra said involving Tyler and Cameron is “fantastic purely from an investment perspective” and he has the “utmost confidence in bringing them on-board.”

“But more important: They have tremendous knowledge about the Internet, the media and how to run a top-notch website, which will help SumZero evolve as a business,” he said in a statement. “They are ready, willing and able to get involved in the nitty-gritty of SumZero’s operations.”

The company calls itself a “reciprocity-based platform, meaning that members are required to share certain pieces of information in order to draw from the intellectual product of thousands of SumZero members.”

The site also allows for members to expand their networks and “further professional opportunities within the industry,” according to the company description on its website.

The Winklevoss brothers said SumZero, which is based in New York City, is “precisely the type of business around which Winklevoss Capital will be built.”

“SumZero is making serious inroads in capturing a previously untouched segment of the marketplace (i.e. buyside investment research), Divya has hired a dedicated and talented team around him to accelerate the product, and the sky is the limit in terms of potential,” they said in a statement.

SumZero has about 7,500 members who have to be on the “buy side” of the investment business and whose applications are vetted by Narendra personally. He rejects about 75 percent of them, the Journal reported.

Members use the site for free, but if they do not submit trading ideas for six months, they lose access to the site’s database. Investors who are not members of the site can pay $129 a month for a “small number of investment ideas” that Narendra chooses after getting permission from their authors, the Journal reported.

Being consumed in litigation with Zuckerberg for the past several years, was not the only activity of the brothers.

The two were also competitive rowers who had also tried to compete in the London Olympics, up until late last year when they gave up their attempt.

Almost exactly one year ago, the twins, who had become famous through their depiction in the film, The Social Network, starred in a commercial for Wonderful Pistachios.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Sep132011

Winklevoss Twins Go Nuts

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- They haven’t gone nuts. But Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss -- the twin brothers who claimed in court that a certain Harvard classmate stole their idea for a website that came to be known as Facebook -- have now turned up in a commercial for Wonderful Pistachios.

In the spot, the two brothers appear in matching suits and bright green ties. One of them cracks open a pistachio nut and the other says, “Hey, that’s a good idea.”

“What?” says the other.

“Cracking them like that. Could be huge.”

“Think someone will steal it?”

You get the joke. The Winklevosses (or “Winklevii," as Jesse Eisenberg, playing Mark Zuckerberg, calls them in The Social Network) were offered a $65-million settlement by Facebook in 2008 to go away. They wanted more, but in July a federal district judge in Boston dismissed their lawsuit.

In addition to the Winklevoss brothers, Roll Global, the company that also sells Fiji Water and Pom juice, has enlisted a broad assortment of famous characters to promote its pistachio nuts, including Kermit the Frog, Khloe Kardashian Odom and a character from the Angry Birds video game.

Do the Winklevosses really need the money? The 2008 settlement offer included $45 million in Facebook stock, which has not yet gone public. By one estimate, it’s since grown in value to $160 million because of Facebook’s success.

So nuts to you.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun232011

Winklevoss Twins Drop Appeal of Facebook Settlement

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have finally decided that a $65 million payout from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is good enough for them.

The brothers, who were briefly business partners with Zuckerberg when they all attended Harvard University, have dropped any further appeals of the 2008 settlement.

Before then, the “Winklevii,” as they became to be known, and fellow business partner Divya Narendra had sued Zuckerberg, claiming he had stolen their idea for a social network for Harvard students.  Zuckerberg created Facebook in 2004 while the plaintiffs devised a site called ConnecU.

In a filing Wednesday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco, the Winklevoss twins and Narendra said they wouldn’t appeal the settlement to the U.S. Supreme Court without explaining why they gave up their legal battle.

The settlement breaks down to $20 million in cash and $45 million in stock, although the shares are now believed to be valued at well over $100 million and could grow substantially when Facebook goes public next year.  The company is estimated to be worth $70 billion.

Much of the brothers’ legal battle with Zuckerberg was depicted in the movie, The Social Network, a semi-fictionalized account of the Facebook saga.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
May182011

Winklevoss Twins Plan to Take Facebook Lawsuit to Supreme Court

Charles Eshelman/FilmMagic(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Not one, not two, but now three court rulings have ordered Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, the twin Harvard graduates who claim Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea, to stick with the $65 million they were awarded in a 2008 legal settlement with the social networking company.

Still, the so-called "Winklevi" just won't give up.

After a federal appeals court said Monday that it would not reconsider the twins' latest settlement challenge, the brothers announced their intention to take the case to the Supreme Court.

But their tenacity may now be flying in the face of legal reality.  Though the twins' lawyers have set the Supreme Court in their sites, legal experts say the chances of the court actually hearing the case are slim to none.

Claiming Facebook defrauded them in the settlement agreement by misleading them about the company's worth, the Winklevosses have attempted to appeal the decision for the past three years.  The latest federal appeals decision affirms its own April ruling as well as the previous ruling of a California district court.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr122011

Judge Rejects Twins' Bid to Undo Facebook Settlement with Zuckerberg

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Much to their dismay, the Winklevoss twins didn't get the Facebook deal breaker they were hoping for on Monday.

In 2004, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, along with Divya Narendra, sued their former Harvard University classmate Mark Zuckerberg, claiming he stole their idea for creating the social networking site Facebook.  At the time, Zuckerberg countersued the trio, alleging they stole data and spammed users by hacking into Facebook to enhance their own site, ConnectU.

Four years later, the Winklevoss twins and Narendra agreed to a $65 million settlement in cash and stock from Facebook but then tried to undo the deal, claiming that Zuckerberg misrepresented the stock's value.

After one judge upheld the 2008 decision, federal appeal Judge Alex Kozinski ruled Monday that the allegedly wronged trio must live with the settlement they made with Zuckerberg.

"They made a deal that appears quite favorable in light of recent market activity," wrote Kozinski, who also declared, "The Winklevosses are not the first parties bested by a competitor who then seek to gain through litigation what they were unable to
achieve in the marketplace."

The judge also noted in his decision that the twins were "sophisticated parties" who "brought half-a-dozen lawyers to the mediation."

While Facebook hasn't gone public yet, it's expected that the initial public offering that might come next year may be the largest in history.  The social networking site is now believed to be worth at least $50 billion, possibly two or three times more.

The Winklevoss twins say they plan to appeal Monday's ruling.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio