|From||United States of America|
|Birth||3 August 1983, Taipei|
Wayne Chang (born August 3, 1983) is an American entrepreneur, angel investor, film producer, and philanthropist. He is best known for founding Crashlytics, which in little over a year was acquired by Twitter for over $100 million in 2013 (later valued at $259.5 million at Twitter’s IPO), creating i2hub, a popular filesharing network, his seed investments that include companies like JetSmarter, Draftkings, and Gusto, and his lawsuit against the Winklevoss brothers, who were famously depicted in The Social Network movie.
Chang was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and grew up extremely poor on a farm in rural Taiwan. At age 6, he immigrated to the United States. However, in the states, things weren’t that much better. He didn’t have his own bed until he was 16.
Despite that, Chang displayed a natural talent for technology. He wrote his first software program on the Apple IIe at age 7. He was involved with the original Napster, the first peer-to-peer filesharing platform, while he attended high school in Haverhill, Massachusetts. In 2005, Newsweek profiled Chang for his abilities in technology.
Chang enrolled as an undergraduate degree student at University of Massachusetts Amherst. At the university, he hacked into the computer systems and obtained all the encrypted passwords of everyone on campus. He broke that encryption, and the Office of Information Technology declined to press charges if Chang would share his methods. Chang also started a startup, i2hub, during his time at the university. To pursue his startup passions, he dropped out of college.
In 2016, despite not having a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree, Chang was awarded with an honorary doctorate by University of Massachusetts Amherst. He was also the featured Commencement Speaker for the 2016 graduating class for University of Massachusetts Amherst.
According to Chang’s LinkedIn profile, he has worked on projects such as Dropbox, LanCraft, MyAdvantange, TetriNET, Nestea2, Q.U.B.E., Tribes 2, Gibbed.net, Q30wnerz, Instant Profiler, Dorm2Dorm. Chang also founded the Scene Review News Network, a site ranked 367 by Alexa. In 1999, Chang was a Security Consultant for AllAdvantage. In 2002, he was a Director at Pacific Northwest Software. In 2007, he founded Boylston Technology Group. Chang also served on the Board of Directors for non-profit organization Community Dispute Settlement Center.
In 2011, Chang co-founded Crashlytics, a mobile company building crash reporting for iOS and Android, with Jeff Seibert. Crashlytics raised $1 million. In April 2012, Crashlytics raised an additional $5 million. Six months later, it was announced that Twitter had acquired Crashlytics for over $100 million ($259.5 million at Twitter’s IPO).
Chang created i2hub in his dorm room at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. According to Chang, he started i2hub with the idea that college students should have an avenue to interact with each other. He had started it in February 2003 for a month but shut it down due to its popularity. He then restarted it in March 2004, when he was better prepared for the traffic.
Facebook also had just launched in February 2004, a month before i2hub. Both i2hub and Facebook were gaining attention from the press. In August 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, Andrew McCollum, Adam D’Angelo, and Sean Parker of Facebook launched a competing peer-to-peer file sharing service called Wirehog. Traction was low compared to i2hub, and Facebook ultimately shut it down.
As users flocked to the service, it attracted the attention of ConnectU and founders Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra. A partnership allegedly formed between i2hub and ConnectU. The partnership, called The Winklevoss Chang Group, jointly advertised their properties through bus advertisements as well as press releases. i2hub integrated its popular software with ConnectU’s website, as part of the partnership. The team also jointly launched several projects and initiatives.
Due to legal pressure, on November 14, 2005, i2hub was shut down.
Chang co-founded Crashlytics, a mobile company building crash reporting for iOS and Android, with Jeff Seibert in 2011. Crashlytics raised $1 million from venture capitalists Flybridge Capital Partners and Baseline Ventures as well as individual angel investors David Chang, Lars Albright, Jennifer Lum, Peter Wernau, Roy Rodenstein, Chris Sheehan, Ty Danco, Joe Caruso, and others.
In April 2012, Crashlytics raised another $5 million from Flybridge Capital Partners and Baseline Ventures.
In January 2013, Twitter acquires Crashlytics for over $100 million (later valued at $259.5 million at Twitter’s IPO).
Seed investors in Crashlytics saw their investment, in a year, multiply by 42 to 74 times their initial investment (so a typical angel investment of $25,000 became $1 million to $2 million).
After Twitter acquired Chang’s company, Crashlytics, he went on to assume multiple executive roles. His roles there included General Manager, Global Head of Developer Experience, Director of Product Marketing, and Director of Product Strategy.
Besides founding his own startups, Chang has been involved in dozens of companies in different capacities including angel investor, board member, or advisor. These companies include JetSmarter, Draftkings, Gusto, Dropbox, SoFi, Planet Labs, AirHelp, LovePop, Muzik, OnSwipe, Triggerfox, Kite, Pistol Lake, Blispay, Homemade, Notarize, Reaction Housing, NS1, ValiMail, Stream, NextCaller, Adored, Slash Keyboard, SURKUS, Tablelist, Boomset, OpenDoor, Marble Robotics, and Uplevel Security.
Limited Partner in Venture Funds
Chang is a Limited Partner in several funds. The funds include:
- Baseline Ventures (investments include Instagram, Weebly, OMGPop, ExactTarget, and Heroku)
- 137 Ventures (investments include tumblr, Spotify, Palantir, and Hyperloop One)
- Boston Seed Capital (investments include Draftkings, BostInno, Shareaholic, RunKeeper)
- Where Fund
- Launch Angels
Facebook and ConnectU Lawsuits
ConnectU sued Facebook in early 2004. Facebook countersued in regards to the team’s Social Butterfly project, and named among the defendants ConnectU, Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, Divya Narendra, and Wayne Chang. A settlement was reached where Facebook acquired ConnectU for 1,253,326 shares of Facebook stock and an additional $20 million in cash. On August 26, 2010, The New York Times reported that Facebook shares were trading at $76 per share in the secondary market, putting the total settlement value at close to $120 million. Another lawsuit was filed to undo the settlement as Facebook allegedly misrepresented the value of the stock by more than 4x. If the settlement was adjusted to match, the total value would be over $466 million.
On December 21, 2009, Wayne Chang and The i2hub Organization launched a lawsuit against ConnectU and its founders, Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra, seeking 50% of the settlement. The complaint says “The Winklevosses and Howard Winklevoss filed [a] patent application, U.S. Patent Application No 20060212395, on or around March 15, 2005, but did not list Chang as a co-inventor.” It also states “Through this litigation, Chang asserts his ownership interest in The Winklevoss Chang Group and ConnectU, including the settlement proceeds.” Lee Gesmer, of Gesmer Updegrove, LLP, posted the detailed 33-page complaint online.
On May 13, 2011, it was reported that Judge Peter Lauriat made a ruling against the Winklevosses. Chang’s case against them could proceed. The Winklevosses had argued that the court lacks jurisdiction because the settlement with Facebook has not been distributed and therefore Chang hasn’t suffered any injury. Judge Lauriat wrote, “The flaw in this argument is that defendants appear to conflate loss of the settlement proceed with loss of rights. Chang alleges that he has received nothing in return for the substantial benefits he provided to ConnectU, including the value of his work, as well as i2hub’s users and goodwill.” Lauriat also wrote that, although Chang’s claims to the settlement are “too speculative to confer standing, his claims with respect to an ownership in ConnectU are not. They constitute an injury separate and distinct from his possible share of the settlement proceeds. The court concludes that Chang has pled sufficient facts to confer standing with respect to his claims against the Winklevoss defendants.”
40 under 40 by Boston Business Journal.
Most Eligible Bachelor by The Improper Bostonian.
Honorary doctorate (PhD) from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Commencement Speaker for the Graduating Class of 2016 for the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Named one of 30 Most Disruptive People in Tech by Boston Magazine.
Nominated Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013 by New England Venture Capital Association.
Nominated Angel of the Year in 2015 and in 2016 by New England Venture Capital Association.
In Spring 2001, The Boston Globe profiled Wayne Chang in “e-Files”.
In Spring 2005, Newsweek profiled Wayne Chang in their issue, “The College Vanguard: 15 Students You Don’t Know… But Will”.
In April, 2005, the press, including USA Today, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, reported that the Recording Industry Association of America was filing lawsuits against users of i2hub.
In July 2005, Wayne Chang was featured in CBS Sunday Morning News segment called “Networth”.
In August 2005, Wayne Chang was profiled by Boston Globe’s Business section, “Software wiz follows dream out of college”.
In October, 2005, The Daily Free Press wrote an article in their business section, “Wayne’s World”.
In November, 2005, the press, including MSNBC, BBC News and Boston Business Journal reported that Wayne Chang shut down i2hub.
In August 2009, Wayne Chang spoke at an entrepreneur panel for The National Association of Asian American Professionals.
In October 2010, the film The Social Network was released. The film depicts the battle between ConnectU and Facebook, which included the settlement at the end of the film that is the subject matter of the Chang v. Winklevoss case.
On December 14, 2010, ABC News wrote an article reporting on The Winklevoss Chang Group dispute, “Man Says Twins Who Sued Facebook ‘Backstabbed’ Him, Sues for Settlement Money”.
On December 16, 2010, Time Magazine wrote an article on The Winklevoss Chang Group dispute, “Facebook Watch: Former Business Partner Sues the Winklevi”.
On December 31, 2010, New York Times wrote a front page article on the Facebook lawsuits. Chang was mentioned the blog post.
In January 2011, BusinessWire and TechCrunch reported that Wayne Chang invested in OnSwipe’s $1M seed round, along with Spark Capital, SV Angel, Betaworks, ENIAC ventures, Morado Ventures, Dharmesh Shah, Jennifer Lum, and Roy Rodenstein.
In October 2011, it was announced that Chang had started a new company, Crashlytics. It is building crash reporting solutions for iOS and Android and raised $1M in its seed round. Investors included Flybridge Capital Partners, Baseline Ventures, David Chang, Lars Albright, Jennifer Lum, Roy Rodenstein, Chris Sheehan, Ty Danco, Joe Caruso, and others.
The parody Twitter account @ballerwayne is widely assumed to represent Wayne Chang as an implausibly ostentatious rapper/entrepreneur. The owner of the account has been speculated by followers to be Dick Costolo, Tufts University Professor Ming Chow, or (most probably) Chang himself.