Yesterday brought news that shocked both the political and financial worlds as former President Donald Trump announced that he would be launching his own social media platform. In addition to setting the stage for an early 2022 launch of Truth Social, he also announced that it has entered into an agreement with Digital World Acquisition (NASDAQ:DWAC) to come public. DWAC stock has risen an astounding 336% since this morning.
There is a seemingly never-ending list of companies opting to make their market debuts through SPAC mergers. And importantly, these companies have experienced quite a bit of volatility in 2021. That likely will continue as Truth Social, with Trump at the helm, starts trading.
The little-known acquisition company behind the merger become the most actively traded stock on Fidelity’s trading platform today, and according to CNBC, was among the most popular stocks discussed on popular digital investment forum r/WallStreetBets.
What else should investors know as Wall Street braces for a company controlled by Trump? Let’s find out.
DWAC Stock: What to Know
- The new company will trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol TMTG. As with all SPACs, we won’t be seeing DWAC stock after the merger.
- Digital World Acquisition was incorporated in early 2021, just shortly after Trump was confirmed to have lost the 2020 election. According to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the company currently holds $293 million in trust which it intends to put toward helping TMTG scale.
- ARC Capital is one of the largest shareholders so far with an 18% stake in the SPAC. Two of the company’s primary stakeholders are fellow asset management firms D.E. Shaw and Saba Capital Management. The list also includes Highbridge Capital Management and Lighthouse Investment Partners. Shaw’s stake is roughly 8%.
- This venture isn’t technically that new. According to The Verge, TMTG was registered in February 2021 in the state of Delaware but managed to fly under the public’s radar until its recent announcement.
- The company website includes a slideshow investor presentation, advertising what it sees as an opportunity to disrupt Big Tech. It claims that Truth Social and other TMTG brands will be able to compete with companies such as Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Disney (NYSE:DS).
- The early version of Truth Social currently in existence appears to be using codebase from decentralized social network Mastodon without giving proper credit.
- Patrick Orlando, CEO of DWAC, spent five years prior to his current position at Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB). Deutsche held the title of being Trump’s largest lender before his transition into politics. Orlando’s specialty was in the area of emerging markets fixed income derivatives.
- All that isn’t to suggest that investors shouldn’t evaluate DWAC stock through a cautious lens. Recent history has indicated that the market for conservative social media may not be as red-hot as the TMTG team might like investors to think. This past Summer saw TechCrunch report on the problems encountered by Gettr, a social media startup with a similar mission statement. It’s unclear what this will mean for Truth Social, but other reports have indicated that Trump’s influence has lessened since he left office.
- Despite its emphasis on freedom for users and standing up to censorship, Truth Social already has some strict rules of its own. According to the Washington Post, it “reserves the right to ban users and safeguard itself from lawsuits with Section 230 protections.”
On the date of publication, Samuel O’Brient did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.