Elon Musk’s bid for Twitter Inc., which has been upended by the billionaire’s threat to walk away, attracted a bevy of big-name backers and Silicon Valley mainstays. There were some notable exceptions.
High on that list is a Dubai-based investment firm whose assets have surged to more than $5 billion under its secretive founder Alexander Tamas, according to regulatory filings and people familiar with the matter. Vy Capital — whose main website consists of one page, with no address and no contact details — has committed $700 million to finance Musk’s bid for the social network, making it the third-biggest outside equity investor in the deal that’s drawn money from billionaire Larry Ellison and Sequoia Capital, securities filings show.
The ability of Vy to help finance one of the largest leveraged buyouts in history — if it goes ahead despite a dispute over fake accounts — is noteworthy for a firm with few public records showing its funding sources or the nature of its investments. Vy, whose equity commitment to the $44 billion deal topped those by Brookfield Asset Management and Qatar, has also backed companies such as Musk’s Boring Co. and crypto exchange ErisX, according to PitchBook data.
Tamas has a history of connecting himself to big-name investors. Before setting up Vy, he worked closely with Russian-Israeli billionaire Yuri Milner and now appears to be cultivating links to Musk. He’s also put money into the Tesla Inc. boss’s rocket company SpaceX and brain-machine maker Neuralink Corp. And according to LinkedIn, one of Vy’s summer analysts is currently Benjamin Birchall, a son of Musk’s key aide Jared Birchall.
A representative for Tamas declined to comment. During a recent visit to the firm’s office in Dubai, only an assistant was present. She said the rest of the staff — about 10 in the emirate including Tamas — work remotely. Worldwide some 25 people are employed for the firm, according to LinkedIn.