Triller Competes with TikTok, Considers Going Public

Triller, the video-sharing social network platform, it is exploring a deal to go public. It might use a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The U.S.-based company is positioning itself as a budding competitor to TikTok. Triller has branded itself as an edgier alternative, primarily targeting users in their mid- to late-teens. TikTok, its larger Chinese rival, has recently faced scrutiny from U.S. government officials over national security concerns.

What is a SPAC?

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Image Credit: Korea Exchange

Triller is also simultaneously exploring the possibility of raising money through additional private fundraising rounds. These talks are being led by the investment bank UBS and seek to raise $250 million total from private investors.

What is Triller?

Celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Pitbull, and The Weeknd are backing the Los Angeles-based company. Celebrity users include top names in the music industry such as Alicia Keys, Cardi B, and Eminem. Through licensing partnerships with top studios, Triller enables users to seamlessly create and share content across multiple social media platforms without the hassle of dealing with licensing fees.

Triller Experiencing Exponential Growth

Although Triller is quickly gaining attention, it still is only a fraction of the size of TikTok. The Chinese-owned video app has 689 million monthly active users and 2 billion global downloads of the app. In comparison, Triller reported 65 million monthly active users and 250 million downloads of its app as of August 2020.

TikTok, the Competition

TikTok isa Chinese-owned company. But Vanessa Pappas, an American-based executive, heads up the company. She took over as interim global chief following her predecessor Kevin Mayer’s departure. The former CEO, Kevin Mayer, is also an American and previously served as a top executive at Disney before making the move over to TikTok. Mayer quit after only three months on the job due to the heightened political attention drawn to TikTok’s security risks.

Twiller Seeks Teenaged Influencers

Movie studio executive Ryan Kavanaugh and healthcare entrepreneur Bobby Sarnevesht currently own the video app. They jointly acquired it in 2019. Both individuals have faced their share of career controversies. Kavanaugh founded the film studio Relativity Media in 2004. Relativity has produced or distributed films such as “Mamma Mia!” and “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”. However, the studio declared bankruptcy in 2015 and one of Relativity’s lenders sued the studio for fraud shortly thereafter. Kavanaugh’s business partner Sarnevesht has faced fraud allegations over the operation of outpatient surgery centers in the San Francisco Bay Area. A lawsuit brought by Aetna claims that Sarnevesht’s surgery centers overcharged patients by millions of dollars. In 2012, a jury awarded the health insurance company Aetna $37.4 million.

Other Clone Products

Triller CEO Mike Lu remains confident that Triller offers a unique product and continues to have strong growth potential. Lu notes that traditional social networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are focused on status updates. In contrast, Triller is focused on creative content. Lu commented: “we realized that a lot of users who were waiting for Reels, they saw what it was. And they decided they’re sticking to Triller.”



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Carpenter Wellington PLLC

Ryan Carpenter serves as Attorney and Managing Director of Carpenter Wellington. Ryan advises clients across a broad set of corporate and commercial matters.