Saturday, October 24, 2020

TikTok rival Triller weighs going public

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Triller, an app similar to TikTok that allows users to share short video clips online, is in talks with several companies about a possible merger that would allow them to go public on Wall Street, a source close to the discussions said Monday.

The group was looking to raise capital from private investors when it was approached by several special purpose acquisition companies, a kind of publicly listed shell company that aims to merge with promising start-ups, the source told AFP.

Read more: Op-ed: Banning TikTok will do more harm than good

The sudden interest coincided with a crackdown on TikTok by President Donald Trump, who has threatened to ban the Chinese-owned social media giant if it doesn’t hand over control of its US business to an American company by November 12, citing national security concerns.

TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance is in negotiations with Silicon Valley company Oracle and retail giant Walmart over its US operations, which include some 100 million users.

The talks are taking place against a backdrop of increasing friction after Trump accused the company, without providing proof, of spying on US users for Beijing.

Triller, launched in 2015, says it currently has 65 million monthly users around the world. Its subscribers, which include celebrities such as Alicia Keys, Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg, can easily pick music to go with a video clip.

The Los Angeles-based company is being advised by the merchant bank Farvahar Partners. Its main shareholder is Proxima Media, which is currently valued at $1.25 billion, according to the same source.

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The business is evaluating its various options, and there is no guarantee it will go public, the source said. Neither Triller nor Farvahar Partners responded to an AFP request for comment.

AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk

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