From Social Media to Tax Saving and Investments by Eduardo Saverin

Eduardo Saverin

People always try to put a title or a symbol on you.

- Eduardo Saverin

A shy person that dislikes public press coverage, Eduardo Saverin was one of the people behind the early days of Facebook. Saverin that took part in doing the business aspects of the social network, owns a percentage of the company, making him one of the youngest self-made billionaire at the moment of Facebook's IPO.

Raised in the U.S., Singaporean as a nationality, Saverin with this wealth has invested in many places. But he never forgets Brazil: the place the was born, a country that he said is always in his heart.

Early Life

Eduardo Luiz Saverin is a Brazilian born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on 19 March 1982, to a wealthy and respected family. His parents took Saverin and his two older siblings to Rio de Janeiro later in life as his father, Roberto Saverin, was an industrialist working in clothing, shipping, and real estate. His mother, Paula, was a psychologist.

His Romanian-born grandfather, Eugenio Saverin, is the founder of Tip Top, a chain of kidswear retail shops. He was a well-known entrepreneur that his skill has given him the official title of the Order of Rio Bronco, the highest honor a Brazilian citizen can receive. It was given to the Saverin family by the then President, Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

Eduardo Saverin credited his grandparents for inspiring him to become successful. "All of us, always, ended up doing something," he said.

It was In 1993 that the family settled in Miami, U.S..

Saverin attended Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, before going to Harvard University studying Economics. At the university, he became a member of the Phoenix S.K. Club, as well as president of the Harvard Investment Association. He is a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity (Eta Psi chapter of Harvard University).

Facebook Career

During his early years at Harvard, Eduardo Saverin met Mark Zuckerberg. The two became friends, and with other co-founders (Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Andrew McCollum), they worked together to launch The Facebook in 2004. Saverin was given the role of Chief Financial Officer and Business Manager.

Saverin was trusted by Zuckerberg to open a bank account with the initial amount of $15,000 that can be accessed by the two of them. The fund was meant to buy servers, and Saverin's with the background from a wealthy and respected family, made him quickly got Zuckerberg's trust.

Despite Facebook affirmed Saverin's title as co-founder, his role and job was debated. Peter Thiel that was Facebook's first big investors said that Saverin was not integral to the company, and was only "quasi-employed" by Facebook in 2004, and "he was not remotely doing" his job of selling ads.

Post-Facebook Career

Eduardo Saverin took part in the development of Facebook in its early days, but due to internal conflicts and differences of opinion with Zuckerberg, he eventually left the company.

Over the following summer when Saverin was living in New York where he worked briefly as a finance intern and doing his business venture. Zuckerberg went fury when Saverin without his permission, made an advertisement for his business on Facebook. The relationship between the two continue to drift when Saverin weren't available when Zuckerberg needs his help.

Since the social network grew rapidly, outside investors, notably Peter Thiel, quickly took control of the startup's finances and capital needs and backed Zuckerberg as its CEO. Since then, Saverin's role and influence started to diminish. Saverin's departure from Facebook was the subject of subsequent legal action. But he later won the right to have his name listed among the other founders in a lawsuit.

Despite their broken relationship, Saverin has nothing to say about Zuckberberg other than praising him. In an interview he said that: "His focus on the company since its very first day is anything short of admirable. He was a visionary, he always knew that the only way for Facebook to grow was to maintain its central idea, that of people truly presenting themselves as they are."

After leaving Facebook, Saverin has lived in Singapore since 2009. In September 2011, he renounced his U.S. citizenship; speculated to be an attempt to reduce the capital gains taxes Saverin would have paid after the Facebook IPO, saving him an estimated tax savings at over $700 million.

Senator Chuck Schumer introduced the Ex-PATRIOT Act, which could have prevented Saverin from ever entering the U.S. again, but the bill died in committee.

However, Saverin said that the decision was strictly based on his interest of living and working in Singapore.

"I am obligated and I will pay hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes to the American government. I already paid and I will keep paying whatever taxes I owe based on my time as a U.S. citizen."

As of 2012, Saverin owns 5 percent of Facebook. With the fortune he owns, he invests in many places, mostly in internet startups. Those include Jumio, a credit card validation company; ShopSavvy, a mobile shopping application; RedMart, a Singapore-based online grocery store; Silvercar, an Austin-based app;, a rental search company; Hampton Creek, a food technology company; CrowdMob, a performance-based mobile advertising network; Moxybilna, an e-commerce platform and several more.

"My life is not about creating another Facebook," he said. "It's about making sure what I do is fulfilling."

He also said that he wants to invest in Brazil as well, because he's a Brazilian and "that's in my heart."

He also co-founded Aporta, Inc., and the Chairman at Velos Partners.

Personal Life

Eduardo Saverin lives in Singapore, residing in his multimillion dollar condo, which also serves as his office. Saverin is known to be shy and don't like public exposures by the press. But yet, he is a strong-willed person.

As a tech enthusiast, Saverin that dislikes showing his privacy online, keeps his iPhone, iPad, and 3 Mac computers, which one of them is running weather softwares about hurricanes and tsunamis, a childhood hobby deepened by the time when he saw how Hurricane Andrew struck South Florida, in 1992.

"I was fascinated by it, and, already having some scientific knowledge, I was able to see the eye of the hurricane, literally."

Saverin may have been one of the youngest self-made billionaire. But before becoming a figure himself, he was already on international headlines at the age of 13, when he beat a chess grandmaster during a match in Orlando. The fact was so unusual that he was mentioned on an article published by The International Chess Magazine. At the moment before winning a checkmate, Saverin turned to his mother and asked, "Do you think it's alright if I win?"

When asked about The Social Network, the movie that brought him, Zuckerberg and others in the early days of Facebook, Saverin stated that the portrayal of him was just a Hollywood fantasy. Despite being more or less like in the movie, Saverin stated that that's not him at all. At the movie, he was portrayed by actor Andrew Garfield.

"Facebook wasn't built out of a Harvard dorm window. And I would never throw a laptop at someone, like it appears in the movie. Not even at Mark."

In July 2015, Saverin first posted a photo of himself with his bride, Elaine Andriejanssen, with a message in English and Portuguese. "I am incredibly happy and thankful to have married the love of my life," he said. "I look forward to building a family together and to contributing our time and resources to make the world a better place."

Andriejanssen is an Indonesian-Chinese descent. Saverin first met her when he was at Harvard University in Massachusetts and she was a student at Tufts University. The couple were married on June 25, 2015, in the French Riviera.

Saverin is worth $5.9 billion as of 2015 according to Forbes.