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Winklevoss twins invest in ‘SumZero’ social network

Apparently attempting to prove the axiom of “If at once you don’t succeed, try, try again,” Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss are taking the money they earned as a result of their settling the long-running legal challenge to Mark Zuckerberg over the ownership of Facebook and investing it into another social network. Clearly, nothing can go wrong this time around, right?

The Winklevoss twins are reported to have sunk $1,000,000 of their estimated $65 million settlement amount into a new network for professional investors called SumZero, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. But, unlike the first time they handed their money over to someone with a great idea and some technical know-how, this time there are strings attached.

The WSJ’s John Jannarone suggests that, this time around, “the Winklevosses plan to be more than passive investors” in the new venture, with the two instead hoping to be intimately involved in the running of the new venture with those responsible for the company – who just so happen to be old friends Divya Narendra and Aaalap Mehadevia, the former of whom was an ally in the legal fight against Zuckerberg. In fact, when talking to Jannarone about the new investment, Tyler Winkelvoss even described the arrangement as “the band is back together again.”

Officially, the Winklevoss’ investment comes from Winklevoss Capital, the company the two brothers set up in February to invest their wealth after last December’s settlement of the Facebook ownership battle. As such, it marks the very first investment made by the company, with the influx of cash coming four years into SumZero’s lifespan.

Currently, the site requires members to regularly submit trading ideas in order to maintain an active profile, with those who don’t submit ideas for six months finding their access to the site’s central database limited until they start contributing again; membership is currently free – although Narendra says that the company is considering paid access models for corporations and larger institutions so that they can look at the database without the need to contribute themseves – with each application being individually handled by Narendra himself to ensure that it meets the standards that he has set for the company (He claims to reject around three quarters of all applications for not meeting high enough standards; the site boasts somewhere in the region of 7,500 members at this time, apparently). Amusingly enough, Nerendra revealed that the Winklevoss brothers themselves didn’t have access to SumZero’s database before they made their investment in the company.

Moving forward, Tyler says that he and his brother want to “really roll up our sleeves” with SumZero, with his brother Cameron adding that “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.”