Rumble, an online video-sharing platform popular with conservatives, has received investment from prominent right-leaning venture capitalists, a Wednesday report shows.
Venture capital fund Narya Capital, co-founded by J.D. Vance, and investor Peter Thiel are leading the investment, the precise value of which remains undisclosed, according to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). People familiar with the matter described the investment as significant, adding that the fund values Rumble at around $500 million.
Video platform Rumble is receiving an investment from a group of prominent conservative venture capitalists including Peter Thiel and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, as the YouTube alternative’s popularity has surged among right-leaning users https://t.co/gdfyARa2uh
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) May 19, 2021
Rumble is reportedly planning on using the money to enhance its video infrastructure and server capacity to the extent that it can start offering cloud solutions to other businesses, Rumble Chief Executive Chris Pavlovski told The WSJ.
“The growth of Rumble has created a vehicle for us to start offering cloud solutions to businesses,” Pavlovski said in an interview. “This will be a major play against Big Tech.”
The video platform founded in 2013 was initially thought of as a place for funny pet videos. However, its popularity surged in the months following the increasing censorship of conservative views by the “Big Tech,” including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Apple and others, the report said. Its monthly visits reportedly jumped from 800,000 in August to 25 million in October 2020.
Rumble’s popularity peaked following Twitter’s decision to permanently ban former President Donald Trump from its platforms “due to the risk of further incitement of violence” in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. A total of 101 million users visited the platform in that month alone. The site reportedly attracted 58 million visitors in April. (RELATED: AVILA: The Social Media Witch Trial Of Trump — And America)
The company’s management not only positions the platform as a right-wing, pro-free speech alternative to existing tech hegemons, but also openly challenges them, the report says.
Rumble filed a lawsuit in January, accusing Google of artificially boosting YouTube’s appearance in search results, giving it an unfair advantage over competitors in search rankings, according to The WSJ.
“YouTube has a monopoly, and there needs to be competition,” Pavlovski said, according to The WSJ. “There needs to be choice.”