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SumZero — the new kid on the social media block

New social media arrival Sum Zero is set to cor­ner a niche zone of the mar­ket by offer­ing a meet­ing place and sound­ing board for investors from around the world.

In a devel­op­ment almost cal­cu­lat­ed to whet the inter­ests of the job­bing con­tent man­ag­er and social media man­ag­er, SumZe­ro can be con­sid­ered a social net­work with a dif­fer­ence.  Its empha­sis is rad­i­cal­ly dif­fer­ent to Facebook’s, as it is a plat­form for investors across the globe.  It’s designed to be a kind of vir­tu­al salon where they can share thoughts, dis­cuss poten­tial break­throughs and chew the fat over pos­si­ble new projects.

No one can ignore social media any more

The world of adver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing has, in a few short years, been trans­formed by social media plat­forms to such an extent that no one with a com­mer­cial inter­est can pos­si­bly ignore them.  Google’s recent $250 mil­lion acqui­si­tion of the social media mar­ket­ing start-up Wild­fire is a case in point.  The search leviathan is clear­ly aim­ing to extend its reach into the world of social media cam­paign­ing.  Even Facebook’s recent­ly announced pledge to place the devel­op­ment of a mobile plat­form as its high­est prop­er­ty is dri­ven by the need to attract social media adver­tis­ing rev­enue more effectively.

For­mer Face­book friends re-unite

Intrigu­ing­ly, there is some­thing Face­book and SumZe­ro do have in com­mon.  The new network’s founders, Divya Naren­dra and Aalap Mahade­via, and it’s first major investors, Tyler and Cameron Win­klevoss, were bud­dies with Mark Zucker­berg dur­ing those Har­vard stu­dent days, and they all col­lab­o­rat­ed in the set­ting up of what became the Face­book phenomenon.

The orig­i­nal part­ner­ship didn’t end hap­pi­ly, with the Win­klevoss twins famous­ly suing Zucker­berg over the han­dling of Facebook’s prof­its and the asser­tion that he’d stolen their idea.  Now they’re invest­ing $1 mil­lion in SumZe­ro via their new invest­ment firm, Win­klevoss Cap­i­tal – the very first invest­ment the new firm has tak­en on.

The new site has an exclu­sive mem­ber­ship (investors can only join by invi­ta­tion), but since its launch in June, num­bers have risen to 7,500.  It is pre­cise­ly the kind of ven­ture the Win­klevoss twins had in mind when they set up their com­pa­ny.  Cameron Win­klevoss has made it clear that he and his broth­er are all about sup­port­ing entre­pre­neurs with a focus on angel investment.

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