Twitter’s new owner refuted a news outlet claim that the disgraced CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX held an equity stake.
Media companies supported by former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried include ProPublica, Vox, The Intercept, the Law and Justice Journalism Project and Semafor.
Semafor faces criticism suggesting the company should return seed money Bankman-Fried contributed to the outlet’s $25 million startup fund.
The blog Klausfiles noted Semafor assured the world of its continued viability in the wake of FTX’s bankruptcy filing.
“We closed our seed round in May and received all investments in full in USD,” a Semafor spokesperson said in a statement. “While we are monitoring the evolving situation closely, we don’t anticipate an impact on our financial outlook or our business.”
Blog author Mickey Kaus wrote he wasn’t worried Semafor wouldn’t be able to hold on to its Bankman bucks.
“The question is more: Will Semafor give the money back?” he declared.
He suggested the morally correct response would be for Semafor to return the money received from Bankman-Fried.
Semafor later published a report claiming the billionaire-gone-bankrupt owned $100 million equity in Twitter.
“Two weeks after clinching a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion, he texted Bankman-Fried just after midnight and invited him to roll the $100 million stake he had owned for a few months into a privately held Twitter,” Semafor’s Liz Hoffman wrote about Musk.
The world’s richest man did not take the claim calmly, firing out a quick question in a reply on Twitter.
“All public holders of Twitter were allowed to roll their stock into Twitter as a private company, but he did not do so,” Musk declared. “Your reporting made it falsely sound like he did, when in fact he owns 0%. For the last time, how much of you does SBF own?”
“Stop dodging the question.”
Musk’s repeated questions about what percent of Semafor is owned by Bankman-Fried matters if the news outlet suggests Twitter profited from fraudulent FTX infusion. Only five investors reportedly subscribed to Semafor’s Series A funding round, one of whom was Bankman-Fried.
“If SBF was as good at running a crypto exchange as he was at bribing media, FTX would still be solvent!” Musk proclaimed in a Wednesday Twitter post. SBF is an acronym often used to refer to Sam Bankman-Fried.
Musk’s tweet included a tweet from Teddy Schleifer noting SBF media investments or donations.
Scroll down to leave a comment and share your thoughts.