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;

When You Say There’s a Limited Pool of Black Talent, Here’s What You’re Revealing About Yourself


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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


A few weeks ago, Charlie Scharf joined a list of executives who have revealed made it clear to their companies — and the public — that they have more work to do on their diversity and inclusion journey. The Wells Fargo CEO shared his views on the lack of representation at the bank, citing that there was “a very limited pool of Black talent to recruit from.” Scharf later issued an apology after swift media backlash, stating that it was “an insensitive comment reflecting my own unconscious bias.”  

Scharf is not the only executive to believe this to be true. “There just aren’t enough Black candidates.” “It’s not our organization’s issue, it’s clearly a pipeline issue.” “Look, I’m all for diverse talent, as long as they are good.” The underlying assumption being that we lower the bar for diverse talent, because they aren’t enough talented Black and Brown people in the marketplace.

When you say there’s a limited pool of Black talent, here’s what you are revealing about yourself as a leader: You don’t really know many Black leaders. In fact, maybe you don’t know any Black leaders at all.

How do you show leaders and organizations that Black and Brown talent is everywhere? Start with making these three key strategic investments:

Invest in key partnerships

The pipeline of Black and Brown talent exists. Start investing in key partnerships. Here’s a brief list to get you started. There are too many fantastic partnerships available in the marketplace to capture them all here:

The Executive Leadership Councils primary focus is to nurture and amplify Black excellence and leadership in business. ELC opens channels of opportunity for Black executives to continue to make impact