Updated at 11:35 am EST
Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWACU) – Get Digital World Acquisition Corp. Report, the so-called blank check group tied to former President Donald Trump’s nascent media company, surged higher Tuesday after the ‘Truth Social’ app topped all downloads on Apple’s (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. Report online store.
The launch of the app on Presidents’ Day marked nearly a year after Trump was permanently suspended from several social media platforms, including Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter, Inc. Report, Facebook (FB) – Get Meta Platforms Inc. Class A Report and YouTube (GOOGL) – Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report, following his role in inciting the violent protestors who stormed Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021.
The app, which was developed by Trump Media & Technology Group, is finding technical support and financial backing from the right-wing YouTube rival Rumble, as well as conservative investors such as former Facebook board member Peter Thiel.
The former President has said the app will be a “rival to the liberal media consortium and fight back against the “Big Tech” companies of Silicon Valley, which have used their unilateral power to silence opposing voices in America.”
Data from Apptopia suggests downloads for the free app have topped 170,000 over the past two days, well ahead of second-place Wordle, although reports of disruptions and wait times in the Apple App Store will test surging customer interest in the coming days.
Shares in Digital World Acquisition Corp, the blank-check company that is planning to merge with Trump Media & Technology Group and list its shares on the Nasdaq, were marked 7.5% higher in early Tuesday trading to change hands at $90.60 each, pegging its market value at $3.36 billion.
Late last year, Digital World said it is co-operating with an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission — as well as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority — that the group described as “preliminary, fact-finding inquiries” linked to its merger with Trump Media & Technology Group.
Digital World is also providing around $293 million as part of a capital raising effort from a group of unnamed investors in Trump Media & Technology Group that the group says will top $1.24 billion.
After it launch, Digital World said Truth Social is forecast to have 81 million registered users by 2026, when average revenues per user will rise to $13.50.