Peter Thiel, J.D. Vance investing in YouTube alternative popular among conservatives

Peter Thiel, J.D. Vance investing in YouTube alternative popular among conservatives
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Conservative venture capitalists Peter Thiel and J.D. Vance are investing in YouTube alternative Rumble, a platform popular among Republicans.

The investment group consists of Narya Capital, founded by Colin Greenspon. It also includes Vance and Colt Ventures, the family office of former Trump adviser Darren Blanton, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The deal was closed last week and announced on Wednesday, Rumble Chief Executive Chris Pavlovski told The Hill.

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The amount of the transaction was unknown but a source told the Journal it was significant and another source said the investment values the company around $500 million.

Rumble is one the new platforms that have appealed to the right as many conservatives see mainstream social media speech guidelines as too constrictive. 

“The purpose of the investment is to expand the rumble video platform and the service offerings for it. Allow us to go after different markets and expand into other markets,” especially non-English based markets, Pavolvski said. 

“The second component of that is to invest in the cloud infrastructure and offer cloud solutions to businesses. We'll be competing against other cloud services out there like Amazon Web Services and others. We’ll be competing in that space in the near future,” Pavolvski added.

The platform was founded in 2013 and gained notoriety after conservative commentator Dan Bongino and Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesSunday shows preview: Bipartisan infrastructure talks drag on; Democrats plow ahead with Jan. 6 probe Lawmakers spend more on personal security in wake of insurrection Tucker Carlson claims NSA leaked private emails to journalists MORE (R-Calif.) promoted it last October, according to WSJ

The platform went from 800,000 views in August to 25 million views in October, SimilarWeb reported.

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“I'm really hoping that the market can look at us as viable competition,” Pavlovski said. “I'm hoping this investment will show that there can be competition, and we intend to compete, in a space controlled by very few companies.”

The platform gained another surge in popularity after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot when platforms such as Twitter and Facebook began to ban users over their rhetoric about the attack, including former President TrumpDonald TrumpFive takeaways from the Ohio special primaries Missouri Rep. Billy Long enters Senate GOP primary Trump-backed Mike Carey wins GOP primary in Ohio special election MOREParler, a right-learning alternative to Twitter, was taken off of app stores and Amazon web services.

Other platforms appealing to conservatives who had a surge in growth after the Capitol riot have lost much of their momentum since.

—Updated at 5:16 p.m.