What is Divya Narendra’s Net Worth?
Divya Narendra is an American businessman who has a net worth of $80 million. Divya Narendra is the co-founder and current CEO of SumZero, a platform that helps hedge, mutual, and private equity funds investors to connect with each other. However, Divya is best known for his association with the earliest version of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg.
In 2002, he worked with fellow Harvard students Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss to launch a social networking site called ConnectU. Soon after, Mark Zuckerberg joined the team and became a partner in the project. By 2004, however, Zuckerberg launched thefacebook.com, sparking a legal battle with the Winklevoss twins and Narendra on one side, and Zuckerberg on the other. Narenda was portrayed by Max Minghella in the 2010 film “The Social Network”, which told the story of Facebook’s rise and early legal troubles. By 2008, Narendra co-founded SumZero with Aalap Mahadevia, a company that specializes in offering an online community for investors specializing in hedge funds, mutual funds and private equity funds. He is the company’s current CEO. SumZero was the first business the Winklevoss twins invested in after the formation of Winklevoss Capital.
Narendra was born on March 18, 1982 in the Bronx, New York. He was raised in Bayside, Queens and is the eldest son of two doctors who emigrated to the United States from India, Sudhanshu Narendra and Dharamjit Narendra Kumar. He attended Townsend Harris High School in Flushing, Queens and then attended Harvard University beginning in 2000. He graduated with his degree in applied mathematics in 2004.
While attending Harvard University, Narendra created a social media platform called Harvard Connection along with fellow students Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss. The trio created the platform in December of 2002. It allowed users to add people as friends, send messages to each other, and provide friends with updates about their lives. They later changed the platform’s name to ConnectU.
In November of 2003, the trio approached another student, Mark Zuckerberg, about joining the platform’s team to provide more sophisticated code. He agreed, though he then later turned the platform into thefacebook.com, which later became Facebook. In February of 2004, the Winklevosses an Narendra were alerted to the existence of thefacebook.com while reading a press release in the Harvard student newspaper, “The Harvard Crimson.” Soon afterward, they send Zuckerberg a cease and desist letter after they realized the code for Harvard Connection had been left non-functional. They also formally complained to the Harvard Administration Board and with the university’s president, Larry Summers. They alleged that Zuckerberg had violated the university’s honor code and the student handbook. However, both said that the matter was outside of the school’s jurisdiction and advised the students to take the matter to court. Several lawsuits ensued. They accused Zuckerberg of intellectual property infringement. The resulting court battle would continue for several years.
In the 2010 David Fincher film “The Social Network,” which depicts the early origins and growth of Facebook, actor Max Minghella portrayed Narendra. Narendra has reacted positively to how he was portrayed in the film, despite the fact that Minghella is of Italian and Chinese descent while Narendra is Indian.
After the university refused to get involved, ConnectU filed a lawsuit against Facebook in 2004, alleging that Mark Zuckerberg had essentially stolen their idea. By 2008, the Winklevosses and Narendra were awarded a total of $65 million, paid out as $20 million in cash plus a grant of pre-IPO Facebook stock that was worth $45 million at the time of the settlement. A number of other lawsuits followed, although the three plaintiffs eventually agreed to call it quits and walk away with their seven-figure settlement.
If he held on to his stake through the end of 2021, Divya’s equity share of the settlement could have been worth as much as $200 million.
After finishing his time at Harvard, Narendra joined Credit Suisse as an analyst. He then moved to Sowood Capital. While working there, he also conceived the idea for what would become his next entrepreneurial business venture. Throughout his time working in investing, he had noticed an opportunity to create a virtual space for professional investors seeking new investment opportunities or who were looking to collaborate with each other on investment projects. He eventually decided to relocate back to New York to began creating a beta version of what turned into SumZero. He asked his former Harvard classmate, Aalap Mahadevia, to work on project with him.
Throughout this time, Narendra was still involved in the lawsuit against Zuckerberg and Facebook. They finally reached a settlement which included both a large sum of money and stock in Facebook. Despite begin financially comfortable at this point, Narendra decided he was interested in returning to school. In 2009, he enrolled in Northwestern University’s JD-MBA program, which he completed in 2012. While in school, he continued developing SumZero. After finishing school, he began working on the project full-time. He was able to work with his former Harvard Connection collaborators, the Winklevoss brothers, who invested $1 million in SumZero.
Since then, SumZero has grown steadily and has around 75,000 users. In order to join the community, prospective members must fill out an application which has varying requirements depending on what type of membership is sought. As nearly 75% of applicants are rejected, it remains an exclusive community of professional investors. The platform is split into three sub-platforms: Research, Cap Intro, and Job Vault. The Research platform focuses on providing members with recommendations on publicly traded securities. The Cap Intro platform provides fund managers with opportunities by which to raise capital by connecting them with funders. The Job Vault acts as a job board for members seeking jobs in the investment community. While still pursuing other business opportunities, Narendra spends the majority of his time focused on the SumZero platform.
Narendra married wife Phoebe White in June of 2017. The couple had met a few years earlier at a bar, though they did not exchange contact information. He was able to find her email address online and sent her an email following their meeting, which sparked the relationship. The couple purchased an industrial-style loft together in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. In his free time, Narendra enjoys playing the guitar and training for marathons.