Financier With Links to Russian-Israeli Billionaire Yuri Milner Backs Musk Bid for Twitter

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Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter has attracted a string of billionaire backers, including one financier with links to a Russian-Israeli tycoon, according to filings submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Vy Capital, according to its website is, “a global technology investment firm with a focus on category-defining technology companies with the potential to meaningfully impact humanity.”

It was founded in 2013 by Alexander Tamas and is headquartered in Dubai. Tamas’s LinkedIn profile lists him as a partner at the company.

According to SEC filings, Vy Capital has pledged $700 million to finance Musk’s bid for the social network. That makes it the third-biggest outside equity investor commitment, Bloomberg reports.

Tamas previously worked for investment firm DST Global as a partner in 2008. The firm was founded by Russian-Israeli billionaire, venture capitalist, and physicist Yuri Milner.

According to Forbes, Milner, who was born in Moscow to a Ukrainian-Jewish father and a Russian-Jewish mother, has an estimated $7.3 billion fortune and is one of the world’s leading tech investors, having been an early backer of social media sites Facebook and Twitter through DST.

Milner sold those stakes and later invested in Spotify and Airbnb.

The businessman’s official website states that he has “not been to Russia since 2014,” and “has no assets in Russia” nor has he ever “met Vladimir Putin, either individually or in a group.”

Tamas, meanwhile, has the largest individual holding in Vy Global Growth, along with John Hering, founder, and executive chairman of global cybersecurity company, Lookout Inc, according to a securities filing.

The Epoch Times has contacted Tamas for comment.

In a 2019 interview with the Berggruen Institute, Tamas touted the idea of allowing controversial thoughts and opinions on social media but noted that such platforms have negative side effects like connecting individuals who share more extremist views.

“What I think is misguided is the idea that our social media platforms should govern what we can and cannot see,” said Tamas. “Unless things are black and white, so for example a call to violence, that is black, that gets deleted, banned, whatever. And someone says something that people don’t agree with. I don’t agree that the social media platform should have the decision as to what is seen.”

The latest billionaire backing comes as Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter has been put on hold amid a disagreement on how many automated or “bot” accounts exist on the platform.

Several weeks ago Musk, the world’s richest person, accused Twitter of allowing a significant number of “bot” accounts on the platform and demanded that the company release data pertaining to the exact number of bot accounts.

In a Twitter post regarding fake or spam accounts on May 13, Musk shared a Reuters report from early May stating that Twitter had estimated in a filing that false or spam accounts represented fewer than 5 percent of its monetizable daily active users during the first quarter.

Musk has said he believes that possibly up to 90 percent of Twitter accounts may be fake and will not go ahead with the deal unless Twitter provides an accurate figure.

In a letter sent to the San Francisco-based firm on June 6, the Tesla CEO accused Twitter of “resisting and thwarting” his ability to obtain information about the bot accounts.

“Mr. Musk believes the company is actively resisting and thwarting his information rights (and the company’s corresponding obligations) under the merger agreement,” the letter reads. “This is a clear material breach of Twitter’s obligations under the merger agreement and Mr. Musk reserves all rights resulting therefrom, including his right not to consummate the transaction and his right to terminate the merger agreement.”

Katabella Roberts


Katabella Roberts is a reporter currently based in Turkey. She covers news and business for The Epoch Times, focusing primarily on the United States.

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