AI-powered music video app Triller just completed a $28 million Series B funding round led by Proxima Media. Triller is aiming to replace the Chinese-based music app, TikTok.
Triller allows users to create and share short music videos using its library of music. The press release says the company has grown organically over 500% since last year. The company also claims to have 13 million monthly active users with over 60 million total downloads.
The company’s growth and success is owed partly to its acquisition of MashTraxx. Creators spend up to an hour a day in the app, while regular users spend up to 20 minutes per day scrolling through content.
With the recent news of TikTok censoring lyrics and nixing some LGBT content, Triller is aiming to create a better space for content creators. CEO Mike Lu says the latest funding round reflects broad support for the app that plans to challenge TikTok’s dominance.
“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.”
Also worth noting: all three major labels reportedly have minority stakes in Triller. And they’re certainly ‘on board’ with licensing deals. That means lower-cost licensing — or any type of licensing — something TikTok doesn’t exactly enjoy. “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,” the company stated.
Triller only had two employees in 2017. Today, the company’s offices have grown to more than 40 people.
One interesting difference between the two apps is licensing partnerships. Triller has all three major labels on board, while TikTok has struggled with that. The release even takes shots at the censorship concerns leveled at TikTok as a Chinese-owned entity.
“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.”
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio shares those concerns after he penned a letter seeking an investigation. TikTok surpassed one billion downloads worldwide with over 100 million in the U.S. Triller has a long way to go if they’re going to catch up to those growth numbers.