Meet Alwaleed Bin Talal, the Saudi Prince with a $300 Million Stake in Twitter

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Saudi Arabia's richest businessman, Alwaleed Bin Talal, announced today that he has invested $300 million in Twitter, the leading microblogging service in the west. A mustachioed nephew of the King Abdullah, Bin Talal has stakes in several other prominent companies including Apple, General Motors, and Citigroup. The prince gave his statement to the Saudi bourse today.

"Our investment in Twitter reaffirms our ability in identifying suitable opportunities to invest in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact," he said in a press release.

Bin Talal has an estimated net worth of close to $20 billion and is hovering just outside the 25 richest people in the world. He has a massive yacht, gives money to Harvard and the Phillips Academy, and has several palaces that we hear are quite nice. In other words, not a bad guy to have supplying cash for your Internet company.

The prince's investment company's only other western-focused media company holding is News Corp.

We don't know much about the Prince's investment, but tech critic Evgeny Morozov filed it under the rubric, "How to preempt a 'Twitter Revolution.'" Where did he write that? On Twitter, of course.


Image: Reuters.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com, where he also oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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