Facebook co-founder Saverin makes rare public appearance at property portal's event

Facebook co-founder Saverin makes rare public appearance at property portal's event

SINGAPORE - Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin recently made a rare public appearance at an event to show his support for local property start-up 99.co.

Mr Saverin, who has an estimated net worth of US$7.1 billion (S$9.64 billion), has invested an undisclosed amount in the real estate portal and also sits on its board.

According to Bloomberg, the Brazilian-born billionaire rarely makes public appearances but made an exception for 99.co's second-anniversary bash and launch of its new mobile app in May. He also sat alongside the property website's founder Darius Cheung for an interview.

99.co differentiates itself from competitors by providing an ad-free search experience. In January last year, Tech In Asia reported that the company was valued at US$8 million (S$10.8 million).

Eduardo Saverin: Billionaire investor in Singapore start-ups

Mr Saverin was first impressed by the house-hunting service after a meeting in 2014 at the "Block 71" startup hub.

"It was quite clear at that time this wasn't just a project to create disruption and ROI. They were trying to make people's lives better by curating the process through which people find their homes," he was quoted as saying by Bloomberg.

Besides 99.co, he has invested in a number of other Singapore start-ups, including software development firms Anideo and Nitrous.IO, as well as e-grocer Redmart, The Straits Times reported.

In 2015, Mr Saverin was ranked 6th on Forbes' list of Singapore's 50 richest people.

He became a Singapore citizen after renouncing his US citizenship in 2012, and also married his Indonesian-Chinese partner Elaine Andriejanssen in June last year.

seanyap@sph.com.sg

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