Toronto video platform Rumble Inc. plans to list publicly on the Nasdaq by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company, hoping to raise US$400-million to fuel growth for the self-styled YouTube alternative.
Rumble has in recent years marketed itself as a destination for content creators hoping to circumvent other platforms’ terms of service around speech. It rose to prominence hosting videos from right-wing media and personalities such as far-right cable channel One America News Network and radio host Dan Bongino. Last January, the company launched an antitrust suit against YouTube parent Google LLC accusing it of “rigging” search results to give preference to its own video service.
In an investor presentation filed this week, the company described itself as a “neutral” platform for video, and increasingly cloud services, arguing that Big Tech services such as YouTube, Twitter, Snapchat and even Amazon Web Services’ cloud-computing offerings have “high censorship” and “high partisanship.”
It also plans to build its own advertising network to support its offerings, cutting out middleman ad-brokering services that are often associated with the Big Tech companies it hopes to distance itself from.
The merger with CF Acquisition Corp. VI, a blank-cheque company run by the American financial-services company Cantor Fitzgerald, values Rumble at US$2.1-billion. Of the US$400-million it hopes to use from the transaction, US$300-million will come from the acquisition company’s trust and US$100-million from private investors.
That value has soared this year as a growing number of prominent users have flocked to the platform. In its investor deck, it highlighted the comedian Russell Brand, journalist Glenn Greenwald and former U.S. president Donald Trump among its creators.
Rumble also compared its user-growth rate to the wildly popular video-creation service TikTok, reporting 36 million monthly active users in its most recent quarter, up 18-fold from 2 million a year earlier. It said that 43 per cent of its daily video uploads are now exclusive to the platform.
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