TikTok rival Triller exploring IPO through SPAC merger: Report

  • Video app Triller is exploring the possibility of an IPO, sources told Reuters.
  • The company is reportedly in talks to set up a public listing via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
  • It is simultaneously pursuing a private funding round, and sources told Reuters it had raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.25 billion so far.
  • The sources said no deal is yet firm, and that Triller is still deciding which path to take.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Short-form video app Triller, which bills itself as a rival to the wildly successful TikTok, is reportedly exploring an IPO.

Reuters reported Sunday that Triller was in talks with investment bank Farvahar Partners about a potential merger and IPO.

Sources told Reuters the merger, if successful, would be with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). 

SPACs are essentially shell companies that go public to raise capital in order to acquire a company, allowing their target to easily obtain a public listing.

Triller was simultaneously in talks to raise a private fundraising round, sources told Reuters, adding that it had raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.25 billion so far.

Reuters’ sources said Triller was deciding whether to carry on with the private raise or forge a deal with the SPAC. They added that no deal was certain yet.

Triller was not immediately available to comment on the report when contacted by Business Insider.

Triller has positioned itself as an emerging competitor to TikTok, which it is suing for alleged patent infringement.

Last month it said it had 100 million monthly active users, and CEO Mike Lu told TechCrunch Disrupt on September 15 that the company’s growth was “definitely on a rocket ship.” 

TikTok remains much larger than Triller, with 689 million monthly active users

Fancy cars, fine dining, creator mansions, cash: Triller is shelling out for talent

When talk of a possible TikTok ban began in July, the leaders of a small social video app called Triller saw a growth opportunity.

To attract users, the company set its sights on TikTok’s biggest names. Some of the Sway Boys, a group of TikTok influencers, had been toying with the idea of building their own app to compete with TikTok, but after a discussion with Ryan Kavanaugh, the majority owner of Triller and a veteran entertainment executive, they decided the platform could be good for them.

Triller offered the creators a deal: Tell your audience on TikTok that you’re moving to Triller, and we’ll give you equity and roles within the company. You can still post on TikTok, they were told, but only if you post on Triller more frequently. In turn, of the Sway Boys, Josh Richards, 18, was named Triller’s chief strategy officer, and Griffin Johnson, 21, and Noah Beck, 19, joined as advisers with equity.

Soon, CNBC, Fox News and the Los Angeles Times were writing about TikTok defectors bound for Triller, an app they described as a viable replacement for TikTok should a ban be put in place. In August, Triller announced it was seeking a new funding round of $250 million, hiking its valuation to over $1 billion.

But could it live up to the hype?

Getting that ‘Triller money’

Founded in 2015, Triller bills itself as an app for making professional-looking music videos, quickly. Functionally, it’s different from TikTok: It has different editing tools; its users can’t “duet,” or react to videos; and while it offers top singles and hit songs, it lacks the extensive library of sounds and mash-ups that TikTok users employ to express themselves.

“I think there’s a lot of things on Triller that TikTok doesn’t have and vice versa;

Exclusive: TikTok Rival Triller Explores Deal to Go Public – Sources | Top News

By Joshua Franklin and Echo Wang

(Reuters) – Triller Inc, a budding competitor to popular short-video app TikTok, is in discussions with blank-check acquisition companies about a merger which would take the U.S. social media company public, according to people familiar with the matter.

The deal would come as Triller seeks to capitalize on TikTok’s woes. U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has ordered TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance to divest the app, citing concerns that the data of U.S. citizens could be accessible to China’s Communist Party government. TikTok has sued the U.S. government to stave off a ban from U.S. app stores while deal negotiations continue.

Triller, which was launched in 2015 and only has a fraction of the 100 million users that TikTok boasts in the United States, has said it hopes that the uncertainty over its rival’s future will drive more influencers and users to its platform.

Triller is working with investment bank Farvahar Partners as it negotiates a potential deal with a so-called special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC), the sources said. A SPAC is a shell company that raises money in an initial public offering (IPO) to merge with a privately held company which then becomes publicly traded as a result.

Triller’s SPAC negotiations are happening alongside discussions with investors about a private fundraising round, led by investment bank UBS Group AG

, in which the Los Angeles-based company is seeking to raise around $250 million, the sources said.

Triller has so far secured around $100 million in that round at a $1.25 billion valuation, according to the sources. It is deliberating whether to proceed with the private fundraising or opt for the deal with a SPAC, one of the sources added.

The sources cautioned that no deal is certain and asked not to be identified because

TikTok competitor Triller found allegedly inflating its user numbers

Would-be TikTok competitor Triller has allegedly inflated its monthly active user numbers, according to a report published in Business Insider.

In the last month Triller — a short-form video app that has attracted a number of TikTok stars, including the most popular person on the platform, Charli D’Amelio — announced that it had more than 100 million monthly active users. Speaking to Business Insider, six former employees dispute those numbers, and they told reporter Dan Whateley that Triller’s numbers were shady, based on their experience with the company.

Back in October of last year, Triller said it had reached 13 million monthly active users and 60 million app downloads. A screenshot provided to Business Insider of one of the company’s analytics dashboards, however, shows a different story — only 2 million monthly active users on iOS and around 484,000 monthly active users on Android. It was taken just a few weeks after the company’s public announcement.

“Four of the six former Triller employees Business Insider spoke with confirmed that they had access to the Localytics dashboard and remembered Triller’s MAU count ranging between 1 million to 2.5 million at the time,” wrote Whateley in his story. “The other two said they remembered the MAU count being about that 1-2.5 million range at the time, but did not name Localytics in particular.”

Triller provided a statement to Business Insider, which said that the former employees were “disseminating inaccurate information.”

Meanwhile, the third-party mobile analytics firm Apptopia estimated that Triller had only 52 million lifetime installs this August — a number that’s vastly different than the company’s 250 million. That time, Triller threatened to sue over the difference. Lately, Triller has been