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Elon Musk. Photo by Bloomberg.

What Is Musk’s Band of Twitter Backers Expecting?

Photo: Elon Musk. Photo by Bloomberg.

Say this for Elon Musk: He gets stuff done. His disclosure today that he has lined up $7.1 billion in investor commitments to help fund his Twitter bid, including a commitment from Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal to roll over his current 4.5% stake in the company as Musk takes it private, should put to rest questions about whether the deal will close. Musk doesn’t have all the money he needs, but he’s close. He has even managed to reduce the loans he’s taking out against his Tesla stock, which makes the deal less risky for him.

The question now is what the investors are expecting in exchange for their involvement. Specifically, why are two well-established venture firms, Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital, putting money into a 15-year-old, slow-growing company at an above-market price? Sequoia, at least, has a long-established public equities arm and is a longtime investor in Musk’s SpaceX, so you can kind of understand its involvement. As for Andreessen Horowitz, well, partner Ben Horowitz’s explanation (via a series of tweets) came down to the belief that Musk can make Twitter “what it was meant to be,” whatever that means. Maybe this is more about relationships than returns.

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