Saudi Prince Alwaleed buys $250m stake in Snapchat

Saudi Prince Alwaleed buys $250m stake in Snapchat
2 min read
08 August, 2018
Saudi Arabia's royal tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced on Tuesday he had bought a 2.3% stake of tech company Snap, who owns picture messaging service Snapchat, for $250m
The billionaire royal is a bin fan of technology [Getty]
Saudi Arabia's royal tycoon Prince Alwaleed bin Talal announced on Tuesday he had bought a 2.3 percent stake of tech company Snap, who owns picture messaging service Snapchat, for $250m.

The billionaire prince is well known for his prolific business dealings, and already owns stakes in Twitter, Apple and ride-hailing app Lyft. Only on Tuesday Prince Alwaleed announced he had bought a 1 billion riyal ($267m) stake in music streaming site Deezer.

"Snapchat is one of the most innovative social media platforms in the world and we believe it has only just begun to scratch the surface of its true potential and we are blessed to be part of it," Prince Alwaleed said in a statement.


Despite Alwaleed's positive outlook, Snapchat has experienced a decline in the past quarter, losing 3 million daily active users in the past month.

The business mogul, dubbed the Warren Buffett of Saudi Arabia, posted the news on Twitter alongside a video of himsel meeting Snap's Chief Executive Evan Spiegel and chief strategy officer Imran Khan three years ago.

The 2015 meeting sparked speculation of a big investment, however it was not until now that Alwaleed's company Kingdom Holding made the move to buy a stake.

Earlier this year, Prince Alwaleed was one of the high-profile Saudi figures caught up in the alleged anti-corruption shake down ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Prince Alwaleed was held for three months in Riyadh's luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel, before allegedly striking a deal with his captors for his release. The royal is thought to have paid a sizeable financial settlement, although the amount was never disclosed.


Despite his high-profile detention at the hands of the Crown Prince, Alwaleed posted a picture on Twitter of of the pair looking in a brotherly embrace and declaring his support for MbS' Vision 2030 initiative.

Critics have labelled Prince Mohammed's campaign a shakedown and power grab, but authorities insist the purge targeted endemic corruption as the country prepares for a post-oil era.

Human Rights Watch likened the mass arrests to "extortion" and said the alleged mistreatment was a "serious blow to Mohammad bin Salman's claims to be a modernising reformist".

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