All of us have dumb ideas, and our friends might indulge us by giving us a few bucks to fulfill them. But a billion dollars? Well, perhaps —if you’re Donald Trump.
The former US President’s social network said in a press release that it just received $1 billion in funding from a “diverse group of institutional investors,” without disclosing any names. After this deal, the Trump Media and Technology Group (TMTG), is reportedly valued at $4 billion.
Investors are putting their money into a merged venture consisting of TMTG and the Digital World Acquisition Corp, a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).
$1 billion is a lot of money: Facebook bought Instagram for that kind of moolah in 2012; the US could use it to vaccinate more than 40 million people to save them from COVID-19; Trump can pay for the Secret Service to protect his family for nearly seven months. You get the drift.
Trump’s social network — ironically named TRUTH — and his media group were officially announced in October. At that time, the company said it aimed to launch the website and the app in invite-only mode by November. But clearly, it missed the deadline and has made no announcements regarding the release date.
TRUTH was announced with a lofty aim of fighting “the tyranny of Big Tech.” But that’s kinda hard to do when you don’t have…any tech. The company aims to open up the network to the public in 2022, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up.
Trump is still banned from Twitter, Facebook, and all the major social networks of the world. So he doesn’t quite have an internet megaphone to yell out his thoughts at the moment. The last right-learning social network, Parler, burned to the ground after Google and Apple kicked it out of their app stores, and most cloud companies refused to provide hosting services.
So Trump & co. will need a lot of money to put up infrastructure to sustain the social network, if Big Tech is not going to support it. But if it keeps getting more investors, it might stay afloat — even if it’s just a mirage.
Update (1:50 PM ET): Trump’s social network isn’t even out yet, but regulatory agencies are already taking a closer look. Digital World Acquisition Corp, the blank check firm that is merging Trump’s media company to create TRUTH, has received requests for information from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), according to a report by Reuters.
For its part, Digital World said the investigations do not mean the regulators concluded anyone violated the law, but we’ll likely be hearing a lot more about this deal in the coming months.