Free speech video platform Rumble is going public as part of the next step in its mission to take on "Big Tech" as an alternative to YouTube.
The company announced Wednesday night that it will merge with Cantor Fitzgerald special purpose acquisition company CF Acquisition Corp. and that it expects to list on the NASDAQ under ticker CFVI sometime after its closing in the second quarter of 2022.
"Rumble is creating the rails to a new infrastructure that will not be bullied by cancel culture," Rumble founder and CEO Chris Pavlovski said in a statement. "We are a movement that does not stifle, censor, or punish creativity and freedom of expression. We believe everyone benefits when they have access to more ideas and diverse opinions. We are on a mission to restore the internet to its roots by making it free and open once again."
Pavlovski added, "The transaction we announced today is the next step in our evolution, and will provide Rumble with the additional capital necessary to continue to scale and grow its business."
The deal puts Rumble at an initial enterprise value of $2.1 billion, and it is expected to bring the company roughly $400 million in proceeds.
Rumble, founded in 2013, hit a record 36 million active monthly users in third quarter of 2021, a striking increase from its 1.6 million average monthly users in the same quarter last year. It saw explosive growth around the 2020 presidential election, as major platforms ramped up their stifling of conservative voices and banned reports damaging to Democrats under the guise of squashing "misinformation."
The company has seen several high-profile conservatives join its platform, most notably former President Donald Trump, who was banned by Google-owned YouTube along with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a crowd of his supporters.
But Pavlovski told FOX Business earlier this year that Rumble welcomes users of all stripes.
"We are building a fair ecosystem for everyone, regardless of whether you're on the left or the right," he said at the time. "We welcome anyone to our platform and we encourage everyone to use our platform, regardless of what your thoughts are."
The Toronto-based company – which will soon be headquartered in Florida – got a major boost back in May with investments from billionaire Peter Thiel and venture capital firm Narya Capital, which was founded by author J.D. Vance, who is currently running for U.S. Senate in Ohio.
Pavlovski told FOX Business at the time, "Up until now, our roadblocks have been the fact that we've been bootstrapped and we've really had to scale services down internationally. This investment is actually what's removing our roadblocks and is going to allow us to move forward in a very major way."