The Weinstein Co. has made a multimillion dollar investment in aSmallWorld.net, the exclusive online social networking site that aims to bring together “highly influential” people worldwide.
Akin to an invitation-only MySpace for the jet set — with 130,000 members, including bigwigs such as Paul Allen — aSmallWorld was founded by Erik Wachtmeister in 2004.
TWC enters the pact as the leader of a group of investors, including Bob Pittman, and is the largest shareholder in the organization.
“We’ve been fascinated by the extraordinary popularity and influence that online social networks are having on consumers all over the world and believe that aSmallWorld, as the leading provider in its market, is uniquely positioned to take advantage of this growing trend,” said TWC’s Harvey Weinstein.
Weinstein likened the pact to News Corp.’s investment in MySpace, adding: “This is bold step and the first stage for this type of (deal). aSmallWorld is sort of the opposite of MySpace, which is a brilliant brand, but for this you need to be invited, and we are looking to (bring in) a million or two million of the world’s greatest trendsetters.”
Site touts its security and policing of its members to ensure privacy. (“Bad behavior is instantly blackballed,” said Weinstein.)
Another feature of the site is aSmallWorld’s City Guide, generated by members and providing ratings for restaurants, hotels and resorts in 60 cities.
“Our mission is to aggregate the collective intelligence of the world’s most valuable demographic, creating a super network of connectors and mavens,” said Wachtmeister.
Company’s revenues are generated primarily by online advertising from luxury brands, and Wachtmeister said that the site competes with names such as Vanity Fair for ad dollars.
TWC continues to branch out: It has already created homevid label Genius and more recently launched a Latin American film fund and a line of kids DVDs under the Unstable Fables banner.
One of TWC’s backers is luxury brand label LVMH.
The pact will be toasted at a Cannes soiree on a yacht Monday night.