Saudi Arabia's Prince Walid bin Talal invests $300 million in Twitter
With his investment, Talal and his company, Kingdom Holding Company, own three percent of the microblogging service, which boasts 100 million users worldwide.
Walid said in a statement that the move was part of a greater effort “to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact.”
Twitter has become increasingly popular in the Middle East and was fundamental in spurring protests and revolutions last spring in Egypt, Tunisia, and Bahrain—Saudi Arabia’s next-door neighbor. That correlation didn’t go unnoticed.
“So Prince Al [Walid] has invested $300 million in Twitter,” GigaOm’s Matthew Ingram wrote on Twitter. “What happens if there's an Egypt-style ‘Arab Spring’ movement in Saudi Arabia?”
For its part, Kingdom Holding Company said the investment was an attempt to get a foothold in social media.
“We believe that social media will fundamentally change the media industry landscape in the coming years. Twitter will capture and monetize this positive trend,” a company executive said n a statement.
Prince Walid is the 19th richest person in the world, according to Forbes, which estimates his value at $19.4 billion.