Triller Inc, a budding competitor to popular short-video app TikTok, is in discussions with blank-check acquisition companies about a merger that would take the US social media company public, according to people familiar with the matter.
The move comes as Triller seeks to capitalize on TikTok’s woes.
US President Donald Trump’s administration has ordered TikTok’s Chinese parent ByteDance Ltd (字節跳動) to divest the app, citing concerns that the data of US citizens could be accessible to the Chinese Communist Party government.
TikTok has sued the US government to stave off a ban from US app stores while deal negotiations continue.
Triller, which was launched in 2015 and only has a fraction of the 100 million users that TikTok boasts in the US, has said it hopes that the uncertainty over its rival’s future would drive more influencers and users to its platform.
Triller is working with investment bank Farvahar Partners as it negotiates a potential deal with a so-called special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC), the sources said.
A SPAC is a shell firm that raises money in an initial public offering (IPO) to merge with a privately held company, which then becomes publicly traded as a result.
Triller’s SPAC negotiations are happening alongside discussions with investors about a private fundraising round, led by investment bank UBS Group AG, in which the Los Angeles-based company is seeking to raise about US$250 million, the sources said.
Triller has secured about US$100 million in that round at a US$1.25 billion valuation, the sources said.
It is deliberating whether to proceed with the private fundraising or opt for the deal with a SPAC, one of the sources added.
Farvahar Partners and UBS did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
SPACs have emerged as a popular IPO alternative for firms this year, providing a path to going public with less regulatory scrutiny and more certainty over the valuation that will be attained and funds that will be raised.
Triller, owned by media industry veteran Ryan Kavanaugh and healthcare executive Bobby Sarnevesht, said earlier this year it had 65 million monthly active users on its short video app, although many analytics companies have said those figures cannot be verified.
Triller’s celebrity users include musicians Alicia Keys, Cardi B and Eminem.
RECORD BUDGET: TSMC does plan to raise its proposed capital expenditure a lot, and could benefit if Intel outsources more of its production to foundries, analysts said Intel Corp’s earnings conference call on Thursday is expected to clarify the US semiconductor giant’s outsourcing production plans, which would be crucial regarding Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s (TSMC, 台積電) performance, analysts said. “TSMC stands to benefit if Intel outsources more of its fabrication to foundries,” SinoPac Securities Investment Service Corp (永豐投顧) analysts said in a note on Friday. Yuanta Securities Investment Consulting Co (元大投顧) was more cautious, saying that Intel’s contribution initially would be limited, but its outsourcing plans would still highlight TSMC’s leadership in technology, it added. “Intel will continue to manufacture server or high-end central processing units [CPUs], which have higher
MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday announced it would give incentive bonuses totaling NT$1.7 billion (US$59.7 million) to its employees and those at the firm’s major subsidiaries, after the smartphone chip supplier’s revenue hit US$10 billion last year. This is the biggest incentive bonus the Hsinchu-based handset chip designer has ever distributed in its 23-year history. About 17,000 full-time employees of MediaTek and five of its subsidiaries, including Richtek Technology Corp (立錡科技) and Airoha Technology Corp (絡達科技), would receive a “red envelope” of NT$100,000 each, the company said. “Surpassing US$10 billion is just the beginning. We will continue to [grow] on this basis,” MediaTek
TO SPUR REVENUE: The contract chipmaker expects its profit to grow 15 percent this year, outpacing the foundry industry’s projected advance of about 10 percent Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday raised its projected capital spending for this year by 62 percent, a new high, in an attempt to satisfy customer demand for advanced technologies in the production of central processing units, high-performance-computing (HPC) devices and 5G applications. After investing US$17.24 billion last year, TSMC this year plans to spend US$25 billion to US$28 billion on manufacturing equipment and new facilities, including a fab in the US. About 80 percent of the budget would be allocated for developing advanced technologies including 3, 5 and 7-nanometer technologies, the company said. The larger-than-expected capital spending prompted speculation
Norway’s oil and gas reserves have made it one of the world’s wealthiest countries, but its dreams for deep-sea discovery now center on something different. This time, Oslo is looking for a leading role in mining copper, zinc and other metals found on the seabed and in hot demand in green technologies. The country could license companies for deep-sea mining as early as 2023, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said, potentially placing it among the first countries to harvest seabed metals for electric vehicle batteries, wind turbines and solar farms. However, that could also place it on the front line of