Former President Donald Trump announced Wednesday evening that he has lined up investment money to launch a publicly traded social media company and a new app, "Truth Social," he said would start an invite-only trial run in November and roll out nationwide in 2022. His investing partner is Digital World Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) incorporated in Miami in December 2020 and listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange since September, with about $300 million in assets.
The details of "Trump's latest partnership were vague," The New York Times reports, and his press release "reminiscent of the kind of claims he made about his business dealings in New York as a real estate developer," full of "high-dollar amounts and superlatives that could not be verified." Digital World Acquisitions did draw significant investments from some big Wall Street hedge funds in its initial public offering. But the "bottom line," Axios says, is that "there are not yet enough details to suggest that this deal has much legitimacy."
The CEO of Digital World Acquisition is Patrick F. Orlando, a former investment bank employee who has launched his own investment bank, as well as at least two other SPACs — or "blank check" companies designed to make future acquisitions — including a Cayman Islands–incorporated SPAC, Yunhong International, that is headquartered in Wuhan, China. Digital World Acquisition's chief financial officer is Luis Orleans-Braganza, a member of Brazil's National Congress.
If the deal does go through, Trump's new holding company, Trump Media & Technology Group, would have access to nearly $300 million and Trump would finally have the social media outlet he has been promising, especially after he was kicked off all major social media platforms following the Jan. 6 insurrection. Truth Social's purpose, Trump's press release says, is "to create a rival to the liberal media consortium and fight back against the 'Big Tech' companies of Silicon Valley."
The app, from initial mockups, looks a lot like Twitter, and its terms of service forbid users to "disparage, tarnish, or otherwise harm, in our opinion, us and/or the site."
Trump Media & Technology Group also plans to launch its own subscription streaming service, TMTG+, headed by former game show and reality show producer Scott St. John.