NEW YORK: Rumble Inc, a YouTube-style website popular among U.S. conservatives, has acquired a stake in payment processor Parallel Economy, the companies said on Tuesday, as a cottage tech industry evolves to oppose so-called cancel culture online.
After the U.S. Capitol riots on Jan. 6, 2021, tech companies such as PayPal Holdings Inc and Twitter Inc distanced themselves from, and took action against, those who encouraged or engaged in violence in the Capitol. Twitter Inc and Facebook banned former U.S. President Donald Trump, and major service providers cut off right-wing social media platform Parler, accusing it of failing to police violent content related to the attack.
In response, technology firms, including a forthcoming venture from Trump, have sprung up to provide what their founders and users see as a protected space for free speech online. These companies are seeking to work together across services like distribution and payment, bypassing established tech players.
Parallel Economy is the latest venture from Jeffrey Wernick, an investor whose portfolio includes Airbnb, Uber and Parler; and Dan Bongino, a fellow Parler investor and conservative host of a nationally syndicated radio show, podcast and Fox News program.
Parallel Economy functions as an alternative to Stripe, a U.S. technology startup valued at $95 billion in March. Users can transfer money from their bank account into a creator’s account with a credit or debit card.
Parallel Economy provides Rumble content creators with the assurance that they can still transact with their supporters if their statements are deemed objectionable by other tech companies.
In exchange for an equity stake in Wernick and Bongino’s holding company, Rumble will make Parallel Economy the preferred payment processor for its users.
Top-trending videos on Rumble include those from Bongino and former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon. In December Trump’s media venture, Trump Media and Technology Group, said Rumble will deliver video and streaming for TRUTH Social, the venture’s forthcoming social media app.