Dec 7, 2021 - Technology

Trump's unconventional social media SPAC

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Donald Trump's social media startup is under investigation by federal securities regulators, before it's even launched a product, and every new disclosure seems to invite new questions.

Why it matters: Trump Media & Technology Group was always bound to be controversial, but it's inviting extra scrutiny by keeping basic details secret and making wild promises.

Among the notable departures from industry norms:

  • TMTG until Monday hadn't disclosed any members of the executive management team, outside of chairman Trump, before naming outgoing California Congressman Devin Nunes as CEO. No word still on a CFO.
  • A pitch deck filed with the SEC does identify 30 employees, but only with first name and last initials (a LinkedIn search doesn't turn up anyone who says they work for TMTG or its "Truth Social" brand).
  • TMTG isn't disclosing any of the investors who it says committed $1 billion in PIPE financing, to help it go public via a SPAC called Digital World Acquisition Corp.
  • There also has been relatively little information on what TMTG is building, beyond some early screenshots that look like a reskinned version of Twitter, although Axios is told by a source that there is a team actively developing new products.

Among the big promises: The pitch deck projects $3.6 billion in revenue by 2026, which would put it on par with Twitter's current business.

  • It projects 40 million streaming subscribers by 2026, which is roughly the same size as ViacomCBS' streaming subscriber totals today.

What they're saying: The former president told Newsmax Monday night that the SEC and FINRA investigations are "just a continuation of witch hunts."

The bottom line: Trump's SPAC seems to be just as unconventional as his presidency.

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