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Start-Up Investor Jason Calacanis Raising Millions of Dollars for Musk's Twitter Deal

Adam Jeffery | CNBC
  • Jason Calacanis, who's known for early bets on companies like Uber and Robinhood, is pulling together funds to invest in Twitter as part of Elon Musk's purchase of the company.
  • Calacanis is a longtime friend and fan of the Tesla CEO and joined him in New York last year, when he was guest host on Saturday Night Live.
  • Those wishing to participate in Calacanis's investment have to commit at least $250,000.

Angel investor Jason Calacanis, an early backer of Uber and Robinhood, is seeking to raise tens of millions of dollars for a stake in Twitter as part of Elon Musk's $44 billion agreement to buy the social media company.

"We are now collecting interest to invest in Twitter with Elon Musk's plan to take it private," Calacanis wrote in a message soliciting funds from his network of high net worth individuals. CNBC viewed Calacanis's email to prospective investors.

The minimum investment required to participate is $250,000, Calacanis wrote, adding that the fees he collects for the deal will total about $18,000. As manager of the fund, he's also asking for 10% of the carry, or the gains that come from the investment.

Calacanis is a longtime friend and fan of Musk, often voicing his support for the Tesla CEO on his podcasts, This Week in Startups and The All-In Podcast. Calacanis even joined Musk last year in New York, when the celebrity CEO was the guest host on "Saturday Night Live."

"#SNL rehearsal was amazing," Calacanis wrote in a tweet. "The entire production was amazing to witness."

Additionally, filings in a shareholder class action lawsuit against Tesla and Musk over the CEO's prior proclamation on Twitter that he was taking Tesla private recently disclosed friendly text messages between Calacanis and Musk at the height of the 2018 controversy.

Calacanis asked Musk, "you holding up OK? Sounds like you've been having an intense week," and said in another that people are "just making nonsense up" about him. "It's nuts," he wrote. He also told Musk he "checkmated those little b-----s," referring to Tesla critics and short sellers.

A judge in this case concluded that Musk knowingly made false statements about having "funding secured" for a Tesla take-private deal.

Musk, the world's richest person with a net worth over $200 billion, has been pulling together funds from friends and investor groups following his agreement in April to buy Twitter. A filing last week revealed that he'd secured over $7 billion from a group that included Oracle co-founder and Tesla director Larry Ellison, venture firms Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz and crypto platform Binance.

Pavlo Gonchar | Lightrocket | Getty Images

Should his effort to buy Twitter succeed, Musk is expected to serve as interim CEO of the influential social network. Musk has said that he would allow former President Donald Trump back on the site, although Trump said he won't be returning and will instead continue posting on his own nascent social network called Truth Social.

The former president's Twitter account had about 89 million followers, and was permanently banned on Jan. 8, 2021, under Jack Dorsey's leadership, "due to the risk of further incitement of violence" after attacks on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the company said at the time.

Calacanis wrote on Twitter on May 10, that while he's "enjoyed the break from Trump," he doesn't believe the former president should have been banned permanently. Rather, he should have been kicked off for a year and then additional time if he again violated the terms of service, Calacanis said.

"Driving him off platform just radicalizes his followers, giving more fuel to their claims that they are being silenced—which makes them vote more!" he tweeted.

Calacanis didn't respond to a request for comment for this story.

For the type of fund Calacanis is raising, the SEC limits the number of qualified purchasers to 2,000. If he raised the minimum investment from 2,000 entities, that would be a $500 million fund. 

To be a qualified purchaser, according to the SEC, an entity must have at least $5 million worth of investments, while to be an individual accredited investor a person must have a net worth over $1 million or annual income of at least $200,000.

Musk is scheduled to make a speaking appearance at Calacanis's All-In Summit, which starts this weekend in Miami.

Disclosure: "Saturday Night Live" is a TV show of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

WATCH: Elon Musk to serve as temporary Twitter CEO following takeover

 

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