Trump celebrates huge cash haul for his social media with message to Big Tech
Investors have committed to pumping $1 billion into Donald Trump’s new social media business, giving the former president a cash horde to battle the likes of Twitter and Facebook for users.
“$1 billion sends an important message to Big Tech that censorship and political discrimination must end,” Trump said in a statement on Saturday. He added that a beefed-up balance sheet would position his Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG) start-up to “fight back against the tyranny of Big Tech.”
Unidentified institutional investors agreed to provide funding for the new Twitter alternative, Truth Social, through a so-called private investment in public equity. The transaction enables buyers to acquire shares in the new platform without the company having to go through a public offering on a stock exchange.
TMTG plans to merge with Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC), a Miami-based company that was founded by a former Deutsche Bank trader last year to combine with a technology or financial services company. DWAC has agreed to provide up to $293 million in capital to the venture on completion of the venture, meaning that, after expenses, TMTG will have about $1.25 billion to fund the launch of Truth Social.
DWAC chief executive Patrick Orlando said the money would allow the venture to “attract top talent, hire top technology providers, and roll out significant advertising and business development campaigns.”
The Trump-led venture missed its November target to release a beta version of Truth Social for invited users. A nationwide rollout is scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.
Truth Social is billed as a platform on which users of all political beliefs are welcome and where “open, free, and honest” conversations are encouraged.
Trump’s Twitter account, which had 89 million followers, was permanently suspended earlier this year in the wake of January’s US Capitol riot. He was suspended for at least two years on Facebook and Instagram, where he had more than 57 million followers combined.
“If Big Tech can censor the president of the United States, then they can censor anyone,” TMTG said. The company added that it would “counter the liberal bias and dangerous exercise of tech monopoly censorship.”