Facebook Founder Allegedly Sold Half of his Company for Just 1,000 Dollars

PD*17087469We usually don’t cover global tech stories, but this is huge, so we thought our readers might get interested in reading this.

Well, the headline might look crazy to you, but the fact is that Paul Ceglia, initial partner of Mark Zuckerberg (the founder and CEO of facebook), is claiming to have 50 percent financial rights over Facebook, based on his initial investment of USD 1,000 – that he made back in 2003.

This way, Paul Ceglia is potentially the luckiest investor in the history of tech world. He, may get as many shares in Facebook as Zuckerbeg has – based on his 1,000 dollars investment that he made in facebook in early days.

Paul says that he has the copy of contract with at least one dozen emails, which facebook says are fake, to prove that his initial investment is legit and he is rightful owner of facebook shares (exactly equal to Zuckerberg’s) valuing around 10 billion dollars.

It all started back in 2003 when Zuckerberg shared his idea of year book (later called as facebook) with Paul and asked him for fund injection, which Paul agreed and paid 1,000 dollars to Zuckerberg against 50 percent stakes in the project.

After several months of this initial investment by Paul, Zuckerberg was able to launch facebook in early 2004, which turned out to be a successful project (though the access to website was limited to Harvard University students only).

Later on, in summer 2004, Zuckerberg seemingly lied to Paul and said that project didn’t go through well and he’s thinking of taking the website off-air. He offered Paul the the refund of his investment, which Paul claims Zuckerberg never made.

Currently the case is in court, and may turn out to be one of the biggest tech stories of history.

And just don’t consider it another ordinary lawsuit, as the tech analysts are taking this incident very seriously, plus a fact that the law firm behind Paul Ceglia, DLA Piper, is a major international law firm that primarily represents technology companies. It is said that DLA Piper takes only those cases which it believes have some value and credibility in them.

Just to add here, in past, facebook had to pay 65 million dollars to Winklevoss brothers (who were without any document proof) in a settlement case when both the brothers had accused Zuckerberg of stealing their idea of launching facebook.

You can read complete emails (between Zuckerberg and Paul) and more details on Business Insider and a webcast discussion on TechCrunch.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Shahid Saleem

    — Now, if you have seen the award winning movie “The Social Network”, then there are chances that you are already aware of Paul Ceglia and the whole story, if not, then read on to know the rest.

    Paul Ceglia was not in the movie. See full cast, no actor played him http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1285016/fullcredits#cast

    • admin

      Okay i don’t remember maybe, but there was a guy who gave 1000 dollars to zuckerberg for server charges, who was he?

      • Shahid Saleem

        Eduardo. He had a different settlement with Facebook in the movie (and in real life).

        • admin

          Thanks for the correction

    • imkhalid

      movies doesn’t show every truth. keep that in mind & dont believe every thing that a movie shows

      • Shahid Saleem

        A lot of the movie is not accurate. It is BASED on real events and they make it clear, they don’t say it is actual fact.

        • imkhalid

          why ur statement is confusing “It is BASED on real events and they make it clear” and then u wrote “they don’t say it is actual fact.” FYI in dictionary REAL means “Actual”

          the 1000$ given by eduardo to zuckerber in the movie might not be true, it could be Paul Ceglia in “actual” event

          • Shahid Saleem

            BASED on means what it means: it does not have to be 100% factual but it is about real events. From wiki:

            Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay adapts Ben Mezrich’s 2009 book The Accidental Billionaires. Sorkin makes a cameo appearance as a would-be advertiser. Neither founder Mark Zuckerberg nor any other member of Facebook was involved with the project, although Eduardo Saverin was a consultant for Mezrich.

            The book, from wiki:

            The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal is a 2009 book by Ben Mezrich about the founding of Facebook. Co-founder Eduardo Saverin served as Mezrich’s main consultant. Mark Zuckerberg declined to speak with Ben Mezrich while the book was being researched and after Zuckerberg and Saverin settled their lawsuit, Saverin broke off contact with the author.

            So the book has lots of SECOND-HAND information (since main people refused to talk to author) and then the movie screenplay changes or ads or removes things to make the MOVIE look good (because movies are not always same as book).

            — the 1000$ given by eduardo to zuckerber in the movie might not be true, it could be Paul Ceglia in “actual” event

            Could be but in the movie there is no Paul Ceglia. I don’t think Paul is in book either.

  • Night Packages ka BOYCOTT

    Worth sharing.Good Article.

    But wait this a telecommunication blog and trolling is my national duty so you must have took some paper from Facebook to post this. :p

  • I sincerely wish that this happens but can’t completely believe the news right now until it is disclosed by other media as well… Because uptill now I haven’t read this or seen this anywhere else

    • Shahid Saleem

      Open your eyes. go to news.google.com and search for Paul Ceglia. It is everywhere.

  • Whatever the result of this lawsuit may be! My feeling about “SuckerBerg” will never change!

    he is a backstabber and a pure American A**Hole

  • Usman

    It is amazing that Facebook was started with such low investment

    • Shahid Saleem

      That’s why I always tell people to start companies! It does not take a lot to start a company. Maybe yuor idea fails, so what? Try again.

    • Faisal

      Dear Usman .. u said, it’s such a low investment .. 1000 dollars is equal to around 85000 rupees in current date do u think anyone will be investing here in Pakistan on any such projects that also in a university or college age ?? .. it was a big step at that time too for them .. and the step to be successful is a harder case study ..

      • Shahid Saleem

        In real life, Eduardo is the son of VERY RICH PEOPLE. $1000 for him was not very hard. Also remember they were at HARVARD, the TOP UNIVERSITY in America (and also NOT CHEAP).

        Also remember $1000 was in 2003 or 2004. Then $1 was RS 62.

        Computer hardware has come down in price a lot since 2004. Also other things are cheaper, like bandwidth (who had 4MB DSL in Pakisatn in 2002??) and internet hosting. Today $20 a month (less than Rs 2000) can pay for good hosting your own VPS with root. Or if you are smarter you can write app using Google App Engine (free hosting up to 5 million page views per month). Domain is less than $10 for .com or $20 for .pk

        Again, if you are a final year university student and have friends with computers, you can come up with an idea, and work together to make it reality. You don’t have to pay for food, rent (already paid or you live at home). Internet is cheap because of student packages or or also free (university internet connection).

        IDEA IDEA IDEA.

        — it was a big step at that time too for them .. and the step to be successful is a harder case study ..

        Do remember that Facebook succeeded because of their model. They did not try to grow VERY QUICKLY like Friendster (remember that site??) and run into problems. They focus on students in one university, than more universities, then companies, then public. Growing fast, but managable growth.

        • Faisal

          I do agree on what you are saying shahid .. but just answer this question .. where are such sites available in Pakistan ?? who have initial investment of around 62000 ?? as u said dollar was 1000 @ 62

          That also even on student basis, do u have any example of IBA or LUMs they are even big Universities of Pakistan ??

          I agree the spreader of Facebook was step by step … but still its not something very easy to say

          So I will still say it was not a cheap investment .. It was a big decision at that time too, even though Orkut was running on peak those days, someone came to compete with Google is not a Small thing dude ..

          No personal offense :)

          • Shahid Saleem

            — where are such sites available in Pakistan ??

            What is pakwheels.com? What is propakistani.pk? What is kitabain.com? How much investment is needed for them?

            Think of all the people who bid on vcoder or other sites and work with friends to complete projects. One group of friends like that became uraan soft in Lahore. You think they needed an MBA to start??

            orkut did not exist when facebook was created.

  • Saleah @ Tazalinks.com

    check this
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk3I-a3CJdo

    this video claims facebook is funded by CIA, if it is true then those $1K prank is just to divert people’s attention to fake issues.

    • admin

      this video was produced by “The Onion”, a fake news website… but scariest thing is that it can be as true as onion represented it.

    • Shahid Saleem

      What fake issues? A friend from 20 years ago was getting married and found my contact information on Facebook and invited me. Was that fake issue???

      It is all about how you use it.

    • That is true unfortunately…. We should be careful while using it…. They make policies based on inputs from these sites as they can easily find attitude, behavior, perception & reaction of people about certain issue through FB

      • That’s why they easily deceive us by doing what we don’t expect & Not doing what we expect & judging public psychology about key issues & loophole

  • Post4Earn

    A twist in IT

  • Ahmed

    To me Mark Zuckerberg is a person who changes everything for money… friends, partners and even religion. He belongs to a Jewish family, was raised as Jewish, but now he claims he is atheist.

    Wikipedia page on him mentions Pakistan specially.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Zuckerberg

    “In June 2010, Pakistani Deputy Attorney General Muhammad Azhar Sidiqque launched a criminal investigation into Zuckerberg and Facebook co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes after a “Draw Muhammad” contest was hosted on Facebook. The investigation also named the anonymous German woman who created the contest. Sidiqque asked the country’s police to contact Interpol to have Zuckerberg and the three others arrested for blasphemy. On May 19, 2010, Facebook’s website was temporarily blocked in Pakistan until Facebook removed the contest from its website at the end of May. Sidiqque also asked its United Nations representative to raise the issue with the United Nations General Assembly.”

    • Shahid Saleem

      Facebook is not one person. It is incredible to think that everyone at Facebook shares his point of views. Also we do not know his views on the contest we are just speculating. I think his hands were tied. if he acted in OUR favour it would look bad for his company but if he acted AGAINST us it would still look bad so maybe all he decided to do was nothing.

      Lets see what happens when the contest happens again this year.

  • Junaid

    ye tho hum se zyada kangal hai.. haha.. tho de do na 1000$… lol

  • Is there any reality in it or Just hoax ?