Trump-tied SPAC roars back as Truth Social tops app store

Shares of Digital World Acquisition jumped 24% Wednesday as downloads of Trump’s social network spiked almost tenfold.

Downloads of former US President Donald Trump's social network, Truth Social, leaped to more than 55,000 on Tuesday, April 27 from less than 6,000 the week before, according to Apptopia estimates shared with Bloomberg News [File: Dado Ruvic/Reuters]

Former President Donald Trump’s social network is back on top of Apple’s App Store, fueling a rebound in the blank-check firm bringing its parent company public.

Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp. leaped 24% Wednesday as thousands more users gained access to Truth Social’s full functionality and downloads jumped almost tenfold. The special-purpose acquisition company, which is merging with Trump Media & Technology Group, had slumped 60% in the previous two months or so.

Wednesday’s rally started in premarket hours, following a tweet by Elon Musk, who is purchasing competitor Twitter Inc., in which he said that Truth Social passed both Twitter and TikTok on the Apple App Store overnight. Downloads leaped to more than 55,000 on Tuesday from less than 6,000 the week before, according to Apptopia estimates shared with Bloomberg News. Truth Social’s daily active users also jumped to 365,000 on Tuesday, a 20% increase from the week prior.

Still, Digital World shares trimmed gains to 10% after Musk tweeted that Truth Social “exists because Twitter censored free speech.” While shares remain down more than 50% from a March closing high, Digital World is up 380% from a September debut and remains one of the best-performing SPACs.

Devin Nunes, chief executive officer of Trump Media & Technology Group, posted on Truth Social about the app’s rise to the top of Apple’s App Store, saying “TRUTH is becoming the home for some of the best talent on the inter webs!”

Representatives for Trump Media & Technology Group and Digital World didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg News emails requesting a comment.

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Growing Competition

Digital World has been battered in recent weeks by concerns surrounding Musk’s planned purchase of Twitter for $44 billion, concern over its merger with Trump Media, and as key Truth Social executives resigned. Last week, hedge fund Kerrisdale Capital Management also released a short report speculating that a regulatory crackdown would impact its deal.

Details surrounding the former president’s media venture have been scarce and the rollout of Truth Social was plagued by snags and delays. The aim of Trump Media & Technology group is to rival “the liberal media consortium and fight back against the ‘Big Tech’ companies of Silicon Valley,” according to an October statement.

While the stock has previously enticed retail investors, it wasn’t trending on popular chatrooms like Reddit’s WallStreetBets and Stocktwits Wednesday. Individual investors have snapped up just $3.78 million over the past two months compared with the more than $220 million they bought in the eight days after the deal was announced in October, Vanda data show.

Source: Bloomberg