Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin said Thursday the success of the
social networking site would be hard to match but he hoped to make an
impact as an Asia-based technology investor.
"It's clearly a tough act
to follow," the 30-year-old Brazilian billionaire told a business
conference in Singapore, where he is a permanent resident and putting
money as an "angel investor" into Asian and other start-ups.
is, whether you look at Internet growth, mobile growth, it's the centre
in terms of where the user and consumer base will be in the future, so
it's phenomenal for me to come here and learn," he said.
Saverin who was listed by Forbes magazine as Singapore's eighth-richest
individual in 2012 with a fortune estimated at $2.2 billion said he
was not trying to recreate Facebook's success.
"Every step of my
life is not about creating a new Facebook or something new necessarily
that goes and gets distributed to a billion-plus people," he said.
"It's about making sure that what I do is fulfilling both to myself and others in the world."
who moved to Singapore nearly four years ago but rarely speaks in
public, said at the conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal that
Facebook had become a "democratising force" across the world.
impact is huge," he added, citing the role of social media in the
Middle East democracy movement known as the Arab Spring as well as in
mobilising public support after natural disasters.
Founded in 2004, Facebook says it amassed more than a billion monthly active users as of December 2012.
shares have been been hit by volatility since its initial public
offering price of $38 in May 2012. The stock closed at $28.46 on
Saverin, an economics major at Harvard University,
co-founded Facebook in 2004 with three fellow students including current
chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.
His role was famously portrayed
in the 2010 film "The Social Network", in which he started out as a
close friend of Zuckerberg and provided initial funds for the site
before they had an acrimonious split.
Saverin said Thursday that
he and Zuckerberg "don't talk very often now but I very much admire him
and everything that he's doing for the company, and everyone else at
As an investor in technology start-ups, Saverin said Asia held the biggest opportunities for entrepreneurs like him.
again rejected suggestions that he moved to Singapore and renounced his
US passport to take advantage of lower taxes in the city-state, saying
it was a "personal decision" that had nothing to do with money.
"I don't really look at money as something I need. I just want to be happy."