TikTok rival Triller raises new funding, acquires UK-based startup MashTraxx
The last time we wrote about Triller was back in July 2018, when the AI-powered music video app Triller launched new monetization feature. The TikTok rival has experienced exponential growth since our last coverage.
Yesterday, Triller came out with a couple of announcements. The startup announced a new round of funding led by Proxima Media. The new funds will fuel continued growth and product enhancements as Triller quickly becomes the premier destination for music sharing, content creation, and artist discovery in the music industry, with its sights set on overtaking competitor TikTok. The total amount of deal was not disclosed.
Triller also announced the acquisition of UK-based MashTraxx, to unlock video editing and tracking capabilities for its 60 million users. Triller has grown 500 percent organically year-over-year, with 13 million active monthly users and 60 million total downloads. The company’s recent acquisition and integration of MashTraxx, a machine learning platform for music and video editing, with nine industry-defining patents, will provide Triller users with next-generation editing tools to create and track powerful, attention-grabbing, and shareable content. Triller has the highest engagement of any music social platform in terms of daily time spent on the application, with its users spending an average of 20 minutes per day and creators spending over one hour.
“Triller prioritizes creators, allowing them to showcase their work and connect with their audiences through the universal language of music,” said Mike Lu, CEO of Triller. “This funding round reflects broad support from savvy, successful investors that appreciate our relentless focus on artist discovery and continuous expansion of Triller’s groundbreaking AI technology. Proxima Media’s team and expertise give us access to unparalleled content and IP.”
Founded in Jul 2015 by David Leiberman and Sammy Rubin, Triller’s AI-powered music video app and talent discovery platform allows users to create professional-looking videos in a matter of seconds. Pick a song, select the portion of the song you want to use, snap a few takes and with the tap of a button you have a celebrity-quality music video starring you and your friends. Triller relies solely on organic growth and has more than 23 million downloads, with celebrities from Kevin Hart to Vanessa Hudgens regularly using the app to create their own music videos. Triller raised a $4.5M seed round in May 2016 and a $5M Series A funding round in February 2018, with plans to expand its AI technology and develop the brand as a talent discovery platform.
“Triller has grown at an incredible rate in a competitive market, and has fundamentally expanded opportunities for content creators to reach new audiences,” said Bobby Sarnevesht, partner at Proxima Media and now executive chairman of Triller. Mr. Sarnevesht, who has a deep background in technology and music, has taken operational control of Triller as part of this transaction. “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,” he continued.
Triller’s music licensing partnerships with top studios, including Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, and Universal, allow users to create content with an extensive catalog of music and share it across multiple social platforms, without the need to navigate licensing fees. Triller has been integral in helping Tyga go 6x Platinum with “Taste,” and YG go 2x Platinum with “Big Bank,” fueling the discovery of breakout artists 10k.Caash and Seth Vangeldren, and is credited by Lil Nas X as the platform that helped launch “Old Town Road.” The app continues to gain popularity within the music industry with top artists such as Chance the Rapper, DaBaby, Halsey, and BTS, who utilize it for music promotion.
Proxima brought in a number of strategic investors, including Silicon Valley veteran, Mahi de Silva, who will also assume the role of Triller’s chairman. As a founder, CEO, leader, board member, advisor, and investor, de Silva has guided companies from startup to Unicorn exits totaling over $10 Billion including VeriSign, Sonicwall, AdMarvel, Opera, Slam Dunk Networks, Noventis, and Looksery.
“Triller has created a vibrant community bringing together creators, artists, license holders, labels, and consumers, to foster and encourage large-scale consumption and monetization, for all involved parties, of music around the world, unlike competitors like TikTok,” said Mahi de Silva.
“As a U.S 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.”
“Though we recognize 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,” continued Lu. “This latest round of financing, and the partnerships we’ve formed with our strategic investors, will enhance our ability to out-perform competitors and support Triller’s continued expansion in the US and across the globe.”