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Billionaire investor Peter Thiel is reportedly pouring R22 million into a dating app for conservatives

Business Insider US
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump sits with PayPal co-founder and Facebook board member Peter Thiel, during a meeting with technology leaders at Trump Tower in New York U.S., December 14, 2016.
  • Early Facebook investor Peter Thiel is reportedly pouring $1.5 million (R22 million) into a dating app for conservatives.
  • "The Right Stuff" is yet another app launched by the right amid what they say is Big Tech's censorship.
  • John McEntee, Trump's former political aide, is behind the project.
  • For more stories visit www.BusinessInsider.co.za

Famed Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel is pouring more cash into yet another online endeavor for conservatives.

"The Right Stuff," which has not yet launched, is a new dating app built for conservatives living in major, liberal-leaning cities. And Thiel is specifically shelling out $1.5 million (R22 million) into a seed round for it, a source told Axios.

The New York Times first reported Thiel's involvement in the project on Monday.

John McEntee, former President Donald Trump's ex-political aide, is behind the app. He told Axios that "we're excited to launch The Right Stuff dating app this summer. Conservatives deserve an easy way to connect."

It will launch first in Washington DC and will initially be invite-only, per the outlet. 

A screenshot of The Right's Stuff website.

Thiel's backing comes as many on the right build their own online ecosystem, including social media apps, to combat what they say is Big Tech's censorship of right-leaning voices. Critics push back on that claim, saying that conservatives' social posts are moderated because they contain politically motivated misinformation.

This also isn't the first time Thiel, who is known for his contrarian ideology and was an outspoken Trump supporter, has backed an app that has come to be favored by the right.

He has poured capital into the YouTube-like video-sharing app Rumble, which has become a hit with conservatives because it has looser content moderation rules. Narya Capital, a fund backed in part by "Hillbilly Elegy" author  and US Senate candidate JD Vance, also provided funding.

Rumble was the company that offered controversial podcaster Joe Rogan $100 million (R1,5 billion) to leave Spotify and come to the platform. He reportedly turned it down, citing Spotify's loyalty to him as critics lambasted his show over its spreading of Covid-19 misinformation.

As the likes of Facebook and Twitter began either removing or adding warning labels to posts or accounts in recent years, right-wing figures have condemned the platforms for serving a liberal agenda. Both companies' deplatforming of Trump especially added fuel to the fire.

Conservatives users started turning to alternative sites, like Parler or Gab.

However, it's worth noting that these platforms' user base is relatively small compared to its competitors. Rumble, for example, said recently that it reached 39 million active users in January. For comparison, Google-owned YouTube has over 2 billion MAUs.

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