Triller Owner Prepares Direct Listing Amid Social Media Pivot: Sources


TrillerNet, the owner of short video app Triller, is preparing to file with US regulators in July for a direct listing as it pivots from competing against larger rival TikTok to streaming live events, according to people familiar with the matter.

The preparations come after TrillerNet explored going public last year through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Those efforts lost steam as investors began to sour on SPAC deals involving companies with little or no profitability.

Unlike with a traditional initial public offering, TrillerNet would not sell any shares in its direct listing, which could come as early as September, the sources said. Instead, it is seeking to line up investors to raise US$500 million by selling a 10 per cent stake in the run-up to the direct listing through a private fundraising round, one of the sources added.

The company plans to register its direct listing confidentially with the US Securities and Exchange Commission next month, hoping stock market investors will value it at more than US$5 billion, according to that source.

The sources cautioned that there is no certainty that TrillerNet will be able to execute on this plan and asked not to be identified because the deliberations are confidential.

Launched in 2015, Triller has been diversifying beyond short video apps to live events, mobile gaming and pay-per-view streaming. In a sign it no longer views itself as a direct competitor to TikTok, Triller stopped reporting daily or monthly active users for its short video app.

TrillerNet says it has more than 300 million users worldwide across its platforms. It has been on an acquisition spree in recent months, snapping up livestreaming music platform Verzuz, combat sports game streaming service Fite TV and marketing platform’s co-founder and CEO Mahi de Silva was named TrillerNet’s CEO in April.

TrillerNet also owns Triller Fight Club, a live-event platform in partnership with rapper Snoop Dogg and operates TrillerTV, a long-form content streaming platform with more than 65 original shows.

TrillerNet’s projected revenue for 2021 is more than US$250 million, TrillerNet’s CFO Paul Kahn told Reuters in April.

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