As Tik-Tok looks to explode, taking advantage of the lockdown to ‘bring people together wherever they may be’, young bucks Triller have stormed into the mix as the first real rival to the firm that had completely cornered the younger music fan market.
Music Business Worldwide reports:
If you weren’t paying attention to the rise of TikTok rival Triller before, now’s the time.
The company is raising between $200m and $300m to fuel its expansion, just as it starts locking in deals to transfer over major TikTok influencers to its platform.
According to a Fox Business report – seemingly confirmed by Triller CEO Mike Lu – Triller has secured commitments to raise the nine-figure sum to fuel its expansion.
The Los Angeles-based company is thought to be raising the investment via the private security market. Investors in the round will reportedly include Farvahar Partners, a boutique merchant bank that is run by former Bank of America executive Omeed Malik.
On LinkedIn, Mike Lu (pictured) shared a story covering news of the raise, calling it “a huge milestone for Triller”.
Earlier this week, it was announced that Josh Richards, a TikTok influencer with over 20m followers, was leaving the Bytedance-owned platform to join Triller as an investor and as Chief Strategy Officer.
It is thought that Triller will use its new $200m-plus capital influx to lure over other top TikTok stars, as well as investing in improving its product and marketing.
Triller, in which all three major music companies own stakes, has previously raised over $37m. Its last major funding round came in October last year, when it raised $28m.
Pressure is growing on Bytedance-owned TikTok in the United States from President Trump’s administration over accusations that the app is passing on user data to the Chinese government – something TikTok strongly denies.
Earlier this month, following a ban of TikTok in India, Triller announced it had become the No.1 iOS app in the Photo & Video category in the market.
Triller says that, in June, it hit 50 million monthly active users around the world, “surpassing TikTok’s user count when it was sold to ByteDance for $1 billion in 2017″.
Triller’s individual investors include Snoop Dogg, The Weeknd, Marshmello, Lil Wayne, YoungThug, Kendrick Lamar, Baron Davis, Tyga, TI, Jake Paul and Troy Cartner; plus Gee Roberson (Co-CEO of The Blueprint Group), Moe Shalizi (founder of The Shalizi Group), Wassim Sal Slaiby (CEO of XO Records), Amir Cash Esmailian of XO, and Ash Pournouri (former manager for Avicii);.
Other investors include Shawn Gee (President of Live Nation Urban), Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith (Chief Executive Officer of TDE), James Prince (Chief Executive Officer of Rap-a-Lot Records), and Believe Digital, among others.
On Monday (July 27), MBW ran an interview with TikTok’s Global Head of Music, Ole Obermann, in which we asked him how TikTok plans to stay ahead of Triller and other short-form video rivals, such as Instagram’s Reels.
“Obviously we respect these companies that are coming in; some of them are smart, innovative, well resourced and well capitalized, so we’re keeping a close eye on it,” he said. “But we’ve got a good head-start, because we have a tremendous amount of understanding [of the space] and also a relationship with the creators that are on the platform.”
Triller last year acquired UK-based MashTraxx, a machine learning platform for music and video editing with nine patents.