TikTok may be hogging many of the headlines for buzzy new(ish) social-music apps, but Triller is one of the most interesting startups building an audience in its slipstream. The latter company has just announced a new funding round, led by Hollywood production powerhouse Proxima Media. The press release doesn’t mention a figure, but online-video trade site Tubefilter and other outlets are claiming it’s a Series B round of $28m.
Triller did provide some stats to show its growth, however. “Triller has grown 500 percent organically year-over-year, with 13 million active monthly users and 60 million total downloads,” it claimed. Also news: Triller has acquired another music/tech startup, MashTraxx, which makes an AI-powered music and video-editing tool. There are also some changes at the top: Proxima Media partner Bobby Sarnevesht has now “taken operational control” of Triller, according to the announcement.
“Now, with the added support of Proxima Media’s access to well known professionally generated content and IP, we are confident Triller will become the go-to platform for music social sharing,” said Sarnevesht in a statement. Triller is also taking some shots at TikTok in its announcement, from the claim that it is “credited by Lil Nas X as the platform that helped launch Old Town Road” (watch TikTok bristle at that suggestion) to the quote by Triller’s new chairman Mahi de Silva that “As a US company, Triller is laser-focused on the protection of our community from the prying eyes of nefarious parties or political agendas which has been a clear issue among our competitors”. Oof.
“Though we recognise that we compete with TikTok for social video distribution, our biggest differentiator is that we’re committed to working hand-in-hand with the labels, artists, and creators to promote their work, music, and content and making it shareable across virtually all social media platforms,” said CEO Mike Lu. It’s good knockabout stuff, although bear in mind that Triller’s 13 million user figure pales next to its rival: even in July 2018, TikTok already had 500 million monthly active users, and it’s embarked on a mammoth global digital-marketing campaign since then.