Billionaire and former presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg has invested over $20 million in his own digital tech company weeks after he dropped out of the Democratic presidential primary.
The $20 million investiture went to Hawkfish on March 31 through Bloomberg's campaign, according to a new Federal Election Commission filing. That disbursement was for "digital consulting" but the Bloomberg campaign had already ended by then and his team was in the process of moving on from a disappointing run for president. Another $1.5 million was spent on Hawkfish on that same day for "digital advertising." Bloomberg officially dropped out of the race on March 4 after entirely funding the campaign.
The massive sum is on top of the $45 million the campaign spent on Hawkfish's services throughout the firm's work for its founder Bloomberg, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. The eight-figure spend by Bloomberg in March shows that Hawkfish has a ton of financial reserves that could be of help to any campaign that signs up for its services.
Bloomberg, a billionaire with a net worth of $54 billion, seems to have disappeared from the scene after transferring $18 million to the Democratic National Committee and walking away from having his own outside entity help the apparent party nominee in Joe Biden. He ended up laying off his staff who were placed in key battleground states in the wake of his withdrawal in March.
A person close to Bloomberg in the business community, who declined to be named in order to speak freely, recently told CNBC that the former New York mayor is still disappointed in the way his campaign panned out after spending just over $1 billion of his own money, and he's not yet ready to get back into the public eye of taking on President Donald Trump. Party donors have been privately hoping that Bloomberg gets more involved sooner rather than later as Trump, along with the Republican National Committee, has an extensive war chest that they've been building for years.
A spokesman for Bloomberg declined to comment.
Bloomberg started building Hawkfish in 2019 and it later became the primary digital agency and technology services provider for his campaign, CNBC first reported. The company is led by top Silicon Valley executives include longtime Facebook Chief Marketing Officer Gary Briggs and and Jeff Glueck, former CEO of location-tracking firm Foursquare.
After their campaign spending spree, Bloomberg and his team only managed to pickup about 55 delegates, including a victory in the American Samoa democratic caucuses on Super Tuesday. He dropped out of the race following his struggles and endorsed Biden.
His digital strategy included the crafting of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter ads that mainly targeted Trump. The campaign has previously said they spent $49.6 million on anti-Trump digital ads.
Since then, Bloomberg and his tech team have gone relatively dark when it comes to the election. The Intercept recently reported that Hawkfish was in talks with Biden's campaign and other organizations about becoming their digital ad agency but it's unclear if political organizations are prepared to work with a company that has had limited experience.