Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson secured $150 million in funding from Omeed Malik’s investment firm, 1789 Capital. Malik, previously a “run-of-the-mill corporate Democrat,” shifted his political views after relocating from Manhattan to Florida during the Covid. There, he identified an emerging “parallel economy” of conservative companies and recognized a huge potential to profit off the ‘anti-woke’ movement.
The Wall Street Journal said 1789 Capital made the $150 million investment in Carlson and Neil Patel’s new media company with X as its backbone on Monday. Malik’s investment firm led the $15 million seed round with other private investors.
Malik is familiar with Carlson and Patel, having invested in the Daily Caller. The goal of 1789 Capital is to get Carlson’s new media platform “to the point of showing a proof of concept for its online video-driven business model, so the pair can continue raising the hundreds of millions of dollars they are eventually targeting,” people familiar with the matter said.
They said the Carlson investment is structured as a SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity), a typical arrangement pioneered by Silicon Valley startup Y Combinator that doesn’t assign a valuation to the target company.
As we previewed months ago, Carlson’s new media empire will offer episodes for free while charging a subscription for shorter versions of his show, interviews, and documentaries. There are plans to expand with other shows from additional hosts. In recent months, Carlson has been posting interviews for free on X, with some interviews receiving tens of millions of views.
WSJ noted Malik partnered with Chris Buskirk, who runs Rockbridge Network, and Rebekah Mercer to form 1789 Capital. The investment firm was named for the year the Bill of Rights was written.
“The whole vision is to create the next media company that is purpose-built for the 2020s and 2030s, in a way that Fox and Rupert [Murdoch] and Roger [Ailes] built a cable news business that was really purpose-built for its time and place,” Buskirk said.
Recall that Tucker recently told journalist and author Chadwick Moore: “I really do think the cable news business has a limited future.”
WSJ said, “The investment in Carlson and Patel’s venture is part of 1789’s thesis of “EIG” investing, short for entrepreneurship, innovation and growth. It is meant as a response to the ESG—or environment, social and governance—ethical investing standards that have been championed by funds such as BlackRock as good business but have sparked a backlash on the right.”
Malik sees the addressable market for Tucker’s show at a minimum of 74 million Americans, or around the number of votes for former President Trump.
“What we are focused on is opportunities that we think have developed in the market because other forms of institutional capital have become politicized,” Buskirk said.
This is the birth of new media that could single-handedly replace dying corporate media.