Video platform Triller announced on February 8 that it has acquired Julius, an influencer marketing platform, to complement its creator network, entertainment platform and engagement tools.
The US-based challenger to TikTok did not disclose the value of the deal. Data from data platform Dealroom shows that New York-based Julius raised $23.8 million from four funding rounds from 2012 to 2017.
Its investors RiverPark Ventures, RSE Ventures, Prudence, Vanterra Capital, Resolute Ventures, SilverTech Ventures, Maverick Ventures Israel and World Trade Ventures exited the company following Triller’s acquisition, the data showed.
Shortly after the merger, Julius’ website now brands the company as “Julius by Triller.”
The investment comes as Triller still has yet to secure approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission to go public.
Back in December 2022, Triller told Business Insider that it was expecting a late December or early January 2023 debut. However, that target has passed as the company still has yet to file an updated registration statement, or an S-1.
Triller has been pursuing a listing for over a year now. As the company’s IPO plans remain hanging in the balance, Triller raised $310 million in funding from GEM (Global Emerging Markets), a Luxembourg-based alternative investment group, around four months ago.
The company is also facing a string of lawsuits, with the most recent one from Universal Music Group, which sued the company last month over unpaid licensing fees for the past three quarters. It follows Triller and UMG’s renewal of their agreement nearly two years ago.
Sony Music Entertainment also brought legal action against Triller in August 2022 for also allegedly failing to pay “millions of dollars” in contractual licensing fees. Triller confirmed Sony’s allegations in a formal response shortly after the lawsuit was filed, citing a range of reasons.
Founded in 2012, Julius connects influencers with brands and agencies. It claims to use data science to make discovering influencers easier. Its influencer marketing software also allows brands to search influencer profiles across Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, and Twitch to find the most ideal partners for their brand.
Julius also helps brands target their audience according to location, demographics, interests, and more, and understand influencers’ brand relationships and view past posts with its social listening tool.
The company claims to have a global database of millions of influencers and brands across every social media channel.
Commenting on the acquisition, Julius President Karin Swanson said: “Julius is thrilled to officially join the Triller family. As a community that elevates creators and their content, Triller provides Julius and its customers with unique opportunities to discover and partner with even more diverse and inclusive creators, backed by our best-in-class tech.”
“With deep cross-platform insights into creators and their audiences coupled with the ability to track and measure the impact of creators, Julius is a game-changer for social commerce.”
Mahi de Silva, Triller
Triller CEO Mahi de Silva added: “With deep cross-platform insights into creators and their audiences coupled with the ability to track and measure the impact of creators, Julius is a game-changer for social commerce. Our unique AI-powered platform now delivers an end-to-end solution for the creator economy from brand storytelling to driving e-commerce.”
Triller added that Julius’ integration into the wider Triller group, including its Reporting Suite for demonstrating ROI success, will expand Triller’s offerings for creators and marketers.
The wider group also offers Fangage, which helps creators to engage and monetize their fans, giving creators 100% ownership of their fans’ data; Amplify.ai, which converts social engagement to conversations with results; Cliqz, which helps artists create owned-audience relationships with fans via text messaging; and Thuzio, a platform that allows over 500 brands build exclusive live events and virtual experiences with artists, athletes and speakers.
The investment in Julius comes as Triller is bullish on influencer marketing. Citing data from Statista, Triller said the influencer marketing industry was worth almost $14 billion in 2021.
“The Triller vision complements Julius’ mission of bridging the gap between creators and brands in an organic and impactful way for all parties involved. We’re excited to see how these changes will further streamline efficiencies and maximize ROI for our customers.”
Karin Swanson, Julius
“The Triller vision complements Julius’ mission of bridging the gap between creators and brands in an organic and impactful way for all parties involved. We’re excited to see how these changes will further streamline efficiencies and maximize ROI for our customers,” Swanson added.
Music Business Worldwide