Tucker Carlson just found a timely cash infusion into his new media startup from an investor who is working to help fund the conservative parallel economy.
Venture capitalist Omeed Malik, who said that five years ago he was a rote “corporate Democrat,” has led the initial $15 million seed round with other private investors to help the former Fox News star develop a “proof of concept” for what he wants to do with his planned media empire, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The money will allow Carlson to hire people to assist him in laying out his full-fledged plan for his vision that will serve as the basis to begin lining up the really big investments that will be needed for a large-scale and modern media company.
Carlson, whose new media venture is being planned under the name Last Country, Inc., is familiar with Malik because the money man was also on hand to invest in the internet-based media group he started with Neil Patel in 2010 — The Daily Caller.
Carlson is, of course, already posting videos almost weekly at his X account. He ended up on X after Fox News unceremoniously fired him despite the fact he was the host receiving their biggest ratings.
The Journal noted that Makik’s investment in Carlson’s nascent media group “is structured as a SAFE, short for Simple Agreement for Future Equity, a common arrangement pioneered by Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator that often doesn’t assign a valuation to the startup, according to the people familiar with the matter.”
This gives Carlson a bit of a freer hand to develop his company with having to quickly prove the initial valuation.
Carlson’s new media company will obviously be fueled by customers and fans paying a subscription to access all content, but it will also offer some free content to entice more customers to invest their dollars in the full service — a model used by most media outlets, big and small.
Chris Buskirk, one of Malik’s partners, described the plan for Carlson’s new venture.
“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.
Conservatives proved that they have market power when they cooperated in a spontaneous boycott of Bud Light that has driven the beer from its former top-selling slot as the king of American beers.
As for Malik, he has made a journey from being a reflexive Democrat to becoming the backer of conservative startup companies because he felt mugged by reality thanks to what he felt was an over-the-top response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Chafing under government mandates he found illogical and corporate limits on speech that felt to him like censorship,” the WSJ reported, “he moved from Manhattan to Florida and began hanging out with Republican donors. He discovered a business opportunity in a so-called ‘parallel economy’ of conservative-friendly companies.”
Malik funded his own venture capital firm he calls 1789 Capital. The year 1789 was the year the Bill of Rights was written to be added to the U.S. Constitution.
The financier told the Journal that he found that a big reason so many conservative companies fail is because they don’t think expansively enough for longevity in funding.
“What has happened up to now is you’ve had some rich benefactor, who is ideological, put a company in business, but then there is no institutional support to continue to finance that business,” Malik explained.
Malik then noted that so many Silicon Valley-based venture capital firms refuse to invest in conservative companies like Carlson’s simply on a political basis, and he saw that as a business opportunity he could not pass up.
“Where’s the money going to go?” Malik told the paper. “I want us to be the beneficiary of it.”
Malik and Buskirk describe their counter concept to the left’s corrupting ESG investing, or “environment, social and governance” investing, by replacing that concept what they are calling “EIG” investing, or “entrepreneurship, innovation and growth” — the latter of which is what investing used to be about until the left infiltrated the sector.
“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 concluded.
In the end, the idea is to base investing under three principles, “deglobalization,” or investing in companies based in America and bringing jobs and technology back to the U.S.; the “parallel economy,” or the creation of a strong business sector that caters to real Americans and conservative ideals; and “anti-ESG” practices.