Sunday, June 20, 2021

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Video platform Rumble said it is receiving an investment from a group of prominent conservative venture capitalists including Peter Thiel and “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance, financial backing that comes as the YouTube alternative’s popularity has surged among right-leaning users.

The investment is being led by Narya Capital, a Cincinnati-based venture-capital fund co-founded by Mr. Vance and Colin Greenspon, and by Mr. Thiel, who is also a Narya investor, in a personal capacity. Colt Ventures, the family office of Dallas investor and former Trump adviser Darren Blanton, is also part of the investment group. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that a group of conservative investors, including Mr. Blanton, were eyeing an investment in Rumble as some on the right seek to set up an alternative social-media ecosystem outside mainstream platforms that they see as excessively restricting speech.

The size of the transaction wasn’t disclosed. One person familiar with the matter described the investment as significant. Other people familiar with the matter say it values Rumble at around $500 million.

Toronto-based Rumble will use the money to beef up its video infrastructure, including its live-streaming capabilities and global presence, and to build out its server capacity to the point that it can begin offering cloud solutions to other businesses, according to Rumble Chief Executive Chris Pavlovski.

“The growth of Rumble has created a vehicle for us to start offering cloud solutions to businesses,” Mr. Pavlovski said in an interview. “This will be a major play against Big Tech.”

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