TikTok rival Triller recently made it clear that it wasn’t keen on paying Universal Music Group to license UMG’s music catalog. Triller’s rather more willing to spend its cash buying companies, it seems – ahead of a much-rumored potential flotation on the public markets.
These two acquisitions follow last month’s news that Swizz Beatz and Timbaland had sold their Verzuz platform to Triller.
There’s more big news from TrillerNet today, too: it’s appointed a new CEO, Mahi de Silva, who is Amplify.ai’s co-founder and CEO as well as TrillerNet’s non-executive board chairman.
Making way for de Silva, Mike Lu, Triller’s long-running CEO, vacates that position. Instead, Lu transitions to President of TrillerNet, a role in which – according to Triller – he will “expand his focus on global investor relations”.
The move therefore looks likely to see Lu concentrating more of his efforts on helping to take Triller public.
Mahi de Silva, new CEO of TrillerNet, said: “The Triller team has built something extraordinary, and I’m excited to take on the role of CEO and join an amazingly talented team that’s re-defining the future of content, creators and commerce.
“Triller has empowered global influencers with unique capabilities to reach and engage millions of users around the world, while delivering innovating ways for partner brands to join this vibrant and flourishing ecosystem. The best is yet to come.”
The news of Lu’s new role at Triller follows reports from the final quarter of 2020, which suggested that Triller was planning an IPO in 2021 via a blank-check ‘SPAC’ (Special Purpose Acquisition Company), having secured a $100 million funding round at a $1.25 billion valuation.
TrillerNet co-owner Bobby Sarnevesht will remain executive Chairman of TrillerNet.
Sarnevesht said today: “[We] could not ask for a better CEO than Mahi de Silva. He is one of the brightest minds in business, and his vision and leadership will be invaluable assets to Triller during its explosive growth.
“Having built and successfully exiting multiple unicorns in tech, social media, ad-tech and eCommerce, there couldn’t be a better person for the role.”
Now, about those newly-acquired companies. Amplify.ai is described as a “Conversational AI and brand amplification” platform. It claims its technology has powered more than 11 billion digital engagements with over 600 million consumers.
Amplify.ai offers services such as Conversational AI, AI-powered comment moderation, customer profile building, conversational ads and e-commerce integrations.
Triller says that it will use Amplify.ai’s AI-powered customer engagement technology to launch new business verticals “at the intersection of technology, entertainment and brands”.
“With this step we have officially replaced the inefficient brand funnel and turned it into a perfect cylinder.”
Mike Lu, TrillerNet
Amplify.ai is also already integrated with the Triller platform, which according to Triller, provides its users and brand partners with a selection of “AI-based tools and analytics to enhance, track and monetize their content”.
TrillerNet previously developed an NFT marketplace in partnership with Amplify.ai.
Mike Lu, President of TrillerNet, said of the Amplify.ai acquisition: “With this step we have officially replaced the inefficient brand funnel and turned it into a perfect cylinder.
“There is nowhere else a brand can actually connect its message, its talent, its content and its distribution all in one place and simultaneously be given the ad-tech and mar-tech tools and analytics to perfectly hone its B-to-C experience.”
FITE, meanwhile is a prominent live-event and Pay-Per-View streaming platform for sports and entertainment.
The company says that it has over 10 million users and has streamed over 5,000 live events over the past five years.
FITE’s partners include combat sports brands including Top Rank, AEW, PBC, ONE Championship, WWE, Impact, Golden Boy Promotions, and Matchroom Boxing.
The platform’s investors include Earlybird Digital East, LAUNCHub Ventures, Tim Draper, and BrightCap who have now joined the list of investors in Triller.
FITE joins TrillerNet’s other properties including Triller Flight Club, a live-event platform in partnership with Snoop Dogg, and TrillerTV, a long-form content streaming platform which currently counts over 65 original series from the likes of Jennifer Lopez, The D’Amelio Family, 2 Chainz, Jake Paul, Perez Hilton and others.
“Triller has an exceptionally visionary executive team that is revolutionizing the world of sports and entertainment. We are very excited to be a part of and play a role in this process.”
Kosta Jordanov, FITE
“Triller has an exceptionally visionary executive team that is revolutionizing the world of sports and entertainment. We are very excited to be a part of and play a role in this process,” said Kosta Jordanov, FITE Co-Founder and CEO.
“As part of the TrillerNet, FITE will become the exclusive global digital distributor of all Triller Fight Club events going forward, and this content relationship is planned to expand in exciting new ways.
“We will continue to work with and serve all our content partners, and we look forward to bringing Triller’s significant user base and promotional clout to all the major events we carry on the FITE platform.”
“With over 10 million users, FITE is the perfect long-form platform for Triller to continue releasing its cultural content spanning fighting, sports, fashion, music and pop culture.”
Ryan Kavanaugh, Triller
Bobby Sarnevesht, Chairman and Co-owner of Triller, and Ryan Kavanaugh, Co-owner of Triller, said in a joint statement: “FITE has been a fantastic partner, and the synergy between the two businesses and teams was clear from day one.
“With our acquisition of FITE, we bring into TrillerNET their stellar technology, valuable customer and content partner base, and one of the most experienced executive teams in this space.
“The deal represents our ambitions to not only expand Triller Fight Club and grow FITE’s distribution relationships, but also to reimagine what, how and when premium music, sports and entertainment is delivered to today’s audiences.”
Ryan Kavanaugh added: “With over 10 million users, FITE is the perfect long-form platform for Triller to continue releasing its cultural content spanning fighting, sports, fashion, music and pop culture.
“We have officially completed our 360-degree content engine with this acquisition.”
Financial details of both acquisitions were not revealed by Triller.Music Business Worldwide