Tom Steyer
Tom Steyer Reuters

California billionaire Tom Steyer announced on Saturday night that he was quitting the Democratic presidential race, NBC News reported.

Steyer made the announcement following a disappointing finish in the South Carolina Democratic primary, which was won by former Vice President Joe Biden.

With 56 percent of the vote in, Steyer had just 11.7 percent of the vote — despite spending millions of dollars on campaigning there.

Steyer had initially opted against entering the presidential race before reversing course and joining the large field in July. He spent exorbitant sums of his own money on the race, outpaced in the Democratic field by another late-entrant, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire media mogul.

Steyer based his candidacy on promising to declare a "national emergency" on climate change upon taking office, racial justice, and ideas like allowing voters to make laws directly through regular national referenda.

He was able to become a regular participant in the Democratic debates, though some his rivals charged that he was simply buying his way onto the stage, according to NBC News.