Oculus founder Palmer Luckey secretly bankrolled an Internet meme group circulating anti-Hillary Clinton propaganda, according to The Daily Beast.
Continue Reading Below
Luckey (pictured, right) financially backed pro-Donald Trump organization Nimble America, which describes itself as a crowdfunded nonprofit focused on "promoting the ideals of America First" and dedicated to proving that "s**tposting is powerful and meme magic is real."
The group has already taken credit for a billboard posted near Pittsburgh that features a cartoonish image of Clinton's face next to the phrase "Too Big to Jail."
"We conquered Reddit and drive narrative on social media, conquered the [mainstream media], now it's time to get our most delicious memes in front of Americans whether they like it or not," a representative wrote in a Reddit post.
Luckey, who went by the alias NimbleRichMan on Reddit (an account that appears to have been deleted), told The Daily Beast that he is just the money man.
"I've got plenty of money. Money is not my issue," he said. "I thought it sounded like a real jolly good time."
In March 2014, Luckey sold his Oculus VR virtual reality firm to Facebook for $2 billion. Now, the Hawaiian-shirt-wearing 24-year-old is worth approximately $700 million, and landed at No. 26 on Forbes's list of America's Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40.
But what's a man to do with all that money? In an election year, the answer seems obvious.
"I came into touch with them over Facebook," Luckey told The Daily Beast about the trolls behind Nimble America. "It went along the lines of 'hey, I have a bunch of money. I would love to see more of this stuff.' They wanted to build buzz and do fundraising."
Over the weekend, Nimble America held a pledge drive, promising that all donations to its website or boost.com page would be matched by "a billionaire" (Luckey) within 48 hours.
Palmer Luckey stands out among the Silicon Valley elite, many of whom recently signed a letter blasting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Almost 150 tech executives and industry luminaries—including Steve Wozniak, Vint Cerf, Vinod Khosla, Pierre Omidyar, Mark Pincus, and Chris Sacca—alleged that "Trump would be a disaster for innovation."
Dustin Moskovitz, the billionaire Internet entrepreneur who co-founded Facebook, also recently committed $20 million to help Clinton win in 2016.
In Silicon Valley, Trump's other main booster is investor Peter Thiel.