Kanye West, who now goes by the name Ye, has agreed to buy conservative social media platform Parler, the BBC reports, prompting his fans to wonder how much the app is worth.
Parler is currently led by British conservative George Farmer, who is best known for his marriage to American right-wing activist Candace Owens. Farmer took over as chief executive of Parler in May 2021.
Kanye’s purchase of the app is expected to go through before the end of the year, but how much is Parler worth? Here’s what we know.
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The news comes just a few days after the rapper’s access to Twitter and Instagram were restricted in the wake of an antisemitic rant. On October 7, the Grammy-winning rapper declared he would be going “death con 3” on Jewish people.
“I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” the now-deleted tweet read, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A few days before that, Kanye turned up to Paris Fashion Week wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words ‘White Lives Matter.’ He later defended his controversial apparel choice in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson by saying he found it funny.
Kanye is now joining the ranks of wealthy celebs concerned with the future of “free speech.”
“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial, we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” Ye said in a statement.
After former president Donald Trump was banned from Twitter, his followers sought refuge on Parler’s largely unmoderated platform.
So, is Kanye actually on Parler? As of today, yes. The rapper’s account appears to be have been started on Monday, October 17 and boasted 91 followers when news of the purchase broke.
What do we know about Parler’s stock price?
After finding out about Kanye’s decision, fans had two big questions – how much is Parler worth? What about Ye?
Regarding the latter, in a recent interview with Drink Champs, Kanye outrageously claimed to be “the richest black man in history.” But while his net worth reportedly sits at an impressive $1.8 billion (£1.5 billion), according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, this makes Ye the ninth-richest black person after Oprah Winfrey (whose net worth is reportedly $2.6 billion).
How much Parler is worth, on the other hand, is a bit harder to discern. The company hasn’t named a value for its deal with Kanye, saying only it expects the deal to close before the end of 2022.
What’s more, Parler isn’t publicly traded, meaning you can’t invest in its stock. This also makes it tricky to guess what Parler’s stock price would be.
However, judging from publicly available information about the company’s funding and valuation, we get an approximate idea of how much Parler could be worth.
Crunching the numbers: How much Parler is worth
According to business databases Pitchbook and Crunchbase, Parler is a privately held social media platform that champions users’ freedom of speech and expression. It has collected a total of $56 million in funding to date, spread across three rounds of investment.
In November 2020, then-chief executive John Matze told Business Insider India that Rebekah Mercer (daughter of Trump-backer Robert Mercer) has been one of Parler’s chief investors since 2018. “John and I started Parler to provide a neutral platform for free speech, as our founders intended,” Rebekah wrote in a post on the site.
Records show Mercer as the main investor behind Parlor’s three rounds of funding. The latest, listed on September 16, 2022, was worth $16 million and saw Parlor acquire a California-based private company to become Parlement Technologies.
However, it’s worth keeping in mind funding doesn’t equal how much Parler is worth. But in March 2021, NPR reported the company’s lawyers had written in court documents that Parler’s valuation was “approaching $1 billion,” with more than 12 million users at the time.