TikTok Rival Triller Plans a Direct Listing on the New York Stock Exchange

Triller direct listing
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Triller direct listing
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Photo Credit: Triller

TikTok rival Triller plans a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange amid compounded financial woes.

Short-form video app and TikTok rival Triller plans to sell its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange through a direct listing, according to the company’s S-1 filing released Wednesday, August 2.

The direct listing is not an initial public offering (IPO) and will involve the listing of shares without the involvement of an underwriter. The company did not provide a specific date for the direct listing.

Triller’s financials are much more modest than TikTok, which reported around $9.4 billion in revenue last year. The company generated $9.1 million in revenue in the first quarter of 2023 but experienced a net loss of $28.8 million. In 2022, Triller saw a net loss of $195.6 million on revenue of $47.7 million. 

On March 31, the company reported only $2.2 million in cash and equivalents, and Triller’s S-1 filing reveals more financial challenges. Since its inception, the company states it has incurred yearly losses, resulting in an accumulated deficit of $1.29 billion. 

These issues are further compounded by outstanding litigation with Universal Music Publishing Group, non-compliance with payment obligations in music licensing contracts, and overdue payments to various vendors. The S-1 further discloses Triller’s confidential settlement agreement in a breach of contract lawsuit with Sony Music Entertainment from 2022. Triller must pay nearly $4.6 million to SME in a payment plan.

Triller’s common stock will be divided into Class A common stock with one vote per share and Class B with ten votes per share. After reorganization, Proxima Media and Bobby Sarnevesht, Triller’s founding partners, will own approximately 15.4% of the common stock with 60.6% of the total voting power. Shareholders with more than a 5% stake in Triller include the CEO of Carnegie Technologies, Paul Posner, and Tsai Ming Hsing.

Triller says it has over 550 million user accounts and more than 2.4 million creators as of March 31, with the company having grown its user base through acquisitions — including the 2021 purchase of live streaming platform Verzuz, created by Swizz Beats and Timbaland. Ironically, Swizz Beats and Timbaland sued Triller for $28 million in August 2022, but the dispute was settled out of court.