QAnon and Don Jr.’s Favorite New Video Platform Is Getting Some Serious Cash

J.D. Vance and Peter Thiel are dumping cash into Rumble, the video platform of choice for right-wing personalities like Don Jr. and Dan Bongino.
​Left: A man wears a QAnon shirt (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images) Right: Donald Trump Jr. on Rumble (Screenshot via Rumble)
Left: A man wears a QAnon shirt (Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images) Right: Donald Trump Jr. on Rumble (Screenshot via Rumble)

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Rumble, the right-wing video-sharing platform that’s become home to anti-vaxxers and QAnon supporters—and is Donald Trump Jr.’s favorite new social media platform—has been reportedly valued at $500 million after investment from “Hillbilly Elegy” author J.D. Vance and tech billionaire Peter Thiel.

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Rumble exploded in popularity late last year after YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook took action against disinformation and conspiracy theories on their platforms. It got another boost in popularity after the January 6 Capitol insurrection when the platforms banned a host of prominent conservative voices—including former President Donald Trump.

While the platform is home to some mainstream channels, such as Reuters, its most popular content is a right-wing fever dream, including videos from figures like Dan Bongino, Steven Crowder, conservative author Dinesh D’Souza, writer John Solomon, Rep. Devin Nunes, and pro-Trump commentators Diamond and Silk.

In recent months, Don Jr. has also made Rumble his new video platform of choice, some days posting multiple videos to the site.

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As well as attracting prominent right-wing figures, Rumble has also become a haven for anti-vaxxer conspiracies and QAnon videos that were removed from mainstream platforms. This is thanks to Rumble’s non-existent moderation policies.

“We’re not involved in fact-checking; we’re not arbitrators of truth.”  Pavlovski told Fortune last November.

The size of the investment is unknown, but sources told the Wall Street Journal that it valued Rumble at half a billion dollars, a remarkable figure for a platform that until six months ago was best known for goofy pet videos.

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CEO Chris Pavlovski told the Wall Street Journal that the investment will fund improvements to its video infrastructure, specifically targeting its live-streaming capabilities and expanding outside of the U.S.

Pavlovski also sees an opportunity to become a provider of cloud services to companies who have been refused access by more mainstream suppliers like Amazon. This is what happened to Parler, a right-wing Twitter alternative, which was taken offline in the wake of the Jan. 6 attacks when Amazon pulled its services.

“The growth of Rumble has created a vehicle for us to start offering cloud solutions to businesses,” Pavlovski told the Wall Street Journal.“This will be a major play against Big Tech.”

While Pavolvski may talk about fighting back against Big Tech, one of his new investors is no stranger to Silicon Valley’s board rooms. Thiel was an early investor in Facebook and currently sits on the company’s board.

Vance, who is investing in Rumble through his Cincinnati-based venture capital firm Narya, is a close ally of Thiel. The author is also reportedly considering a Senate run in Ohio next year, which will be backed by Thiel’s money.

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J.D. Vance speaks onstage during at Moscone Center on September 6, 2018 in San Francisco, California. (Photo: Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch)​