By Bill Peters
'I strongly support Rumble's unwavering commitment to free speech in the face of growing censorship and government overreach,' Sacks says in plans to join right-wing video platform
David Sacks, a tech entrepreneur and member of the so-called "PayPal Mafia," is set to join the board of the video-sharing and social-media site Rumble Inc., a platform that over the years has become a bigger home to right-wing personalities and content.
Sacks, the former chief operating officer of PayPal Inc. (PYPL), will join the board in the second half of June, in conjunction with Rumble's (RUM) purchase of CallIn, a podcasting and live-streaming platform Sacks launched.
Rumble executives, in a statement, said the purchase of CallIn -- which allows users to create and listen to podcasts -- would add an easy-to-use app and post-production tools to Rumble's ranks of online creators and their followers.
"As a passionate proponent of the creator economy and the free flow of ideas, I strongly support Rumble's unwavering commitment to free speech in the face of growing censorship and government overreach," Sacks said in a statement.
Sacks joined PayPal in 1999 and became chief operating officer in 2002. He is also the founder of Craft Ventures, a VC firm, and Yammer, a software-as-a-service platform that was acquired by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) for $1.2 billion. Billionaire investor Peter Thiel, another member of the "PayPal Mafia" -- or the group of early PayPal staff who went on to bigger careers in the tech world -- is one of Rumble's investors.
The deal is the latest expansion by Rumble, which has advertised itself as a company whose technology is "immune to cancel culture." The company has become a platform for a growing number of conservative personalities, comedians and sports content.
Rumble has partnered with conservative personalities like Steven Crowder and Dan Bongino to broadcast shows, and expanded its broadcasting presence in combat sports -- including with Power Slap, a slap-fighting organization founded by UFC President Dana White, and Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship.
In the company's first-quarter earnings release, also put out on Monday, Rumble announced a streaming partnership with the Republican National Committee for the first debate of the Republican presidential primaries, which is scheduled for August 2023. Rumble also said it added the YouTube gaming streamer IShowSpeed, as well as the Twitch streamer Kai Cenat.
Shares of Rumble rocketed higher following the company's last earnings report in March -- a day on which reports first surfaced that a grand jury in Manhattan voted to indict former president Donald Trump, who was charged with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records following an investigation into hush-money payments to porn star Stormy Daniels.
But shares fell 3.4% after hours on Monday, following Rumble's earnings release. Rumble reported a bigger first-quarter loss than expected. Monthly active users fell from the prior quarter, after a bump from the U.S. midterms.
Shares of Rumble are down 7.8% over the past 12 months. By comparison, the S&P 500 index is up 3.2% over that period.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 16, 2023 08:06 ET (12:06 GMT)
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