Particularly during President Trump's administration, conservatives charged Big Tech with conspiring to silence their voices by either changing their algorithms to shadow ban them or outright booting them from their platforms.
Conservatives were told Google, Twitter, and Facebook were private companies and could decide who was allowed on their sites. If you didn't like it, you could go build your own platform.
So that's what they did.
Rumble is a video-sharing platform similar to Alphabet's (GOOG -0.19%) (GOOGL -0.15%) YouTube, and though the site is apolitical, describing itself as neutral and "immune to cancel culture," it has attracted some of the biggest names in conservative circles, both as content creators and financial backers.
Now it's going public through a merger with the special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) CF Acquisition Corp. VI (CFVI -1.54%), the Cantor Fitzgerald-backed vehicle, giving Rumble a $2.1 billion valuation.
According to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, the announcement of the merger sent CF Acquisition soaring, and it ended December with a 10.8% gain for the month.
Rumble is growing, and growing fast. The video-sharing site reports that it had 44 million active users in August and that viewer engagement rocketed 44 times higher over the past year, hitting 8 billion minutes watched in the third quarter.
While that pales in comparison with YouTube's more than 315 million active users at the end of September, Rumble has only really started to gain traction within the past year, as content creators and users find its stated commitment to free speech refreshing.
It's not just conservatives flocking to the site. Journalist and self-described liberal Glenn Greenwald, for example, has 158,000 subscribers to his Rumble channel, while progressive comedian Jimmy Dore has 43,000 subscribers.
Those numbers, though, are a rounding error for some of the most high-profile conservatives on the site, with commentator and Rumble investor Dan Bongino sporting more than 2 million subscribers, and Devin Nunes, the former congressman who resigned his House seat to head up President Trump's own new social media platform, has 820,000 subscribers.
The merger between Rumble and CF Acquisition VI is expected to contribute approximately $400 million in proceeds to Rumble, which includes $100 million in a fully committed PIPE (private investment in public equity) at $10 per share and $300 million of cash held in the trust account of CF Acquisition.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022.