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Saudi Prince Alwaleed invests $300 million in Twitter

Twitter is now part of a broad investment portfolio that spans several industries, including television and technology companies.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud
Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Kingdom Holding Co.

Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, through his investment firm Kingdom Holding Co., has dropped $300 million into Twitter.

Alwaleed, an active investor, is one of the world's richest people, with an estimated $19.6 billion fortune, according to Forbes. He's also the nephew of Saudi Arabia King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Alsaud. Over the years, Alwaleed has invested in a host of markets, including banking, real estate, and hotel management.

In the technology market, the prince has given capital to or bought stock from, Hewlett-Packard, Apple, Motorola, and countless others. During the dot-com boom, he was heavily focused on Web companies.

However, his Twitter investment might be the most ironic. The social network has been credited for helping prompt the so-called "Arab Spring" that sparked uprisings across the Middle East over the past year. The trouble that leaders faced in Egypt and Libya nearly spilled over into Saudi Arabia before the government offered up a multifaceted spending plan to quell the unrest. In other words, the very tool the Saudi prince is investing in could have been used by protesters to organize revolts and eventually lead to his family's downfall.

Alwaleed today acknowledged Twitter's importance in world affairs, saying that the social network has a "global impact."

For its part, Twitter hasn't commented on the Alwaleed investment and did not immediately respond to CNET's inquiry on the matter. However, in historical proportions, it's a big one. Since its founding in 2006, Twitter has raised about $1.2 billion.