A Triller ‘investor deck’ shows how the company may be thinking about its future as it prepares to go public
This story is available exclusively to Business Insider subscribers. Become an Insider and start reading now.
- Triller has been trying to go public since 2021, first via a reverse merger, then a direct listing.
- Over the years, the company has moved beyond its short-video app into combat sports and rap battles.
- Insider viewed an “investor deck” dated late 2022 that could shed light on how the company is positioning its business. Triller told Insider it “cannot authenticate” the deck.
Tech company Triller has been striving to go public for more than a year after founding or acquiring a variety of entertainment businesses centered on music, sports, video, and marketing.
Along the way, it’s announced new funding from investors including Total Formation Co, Falcon Capital, and Clearvue Partners.
The company’s approach to pitching investors on its path to a Nasdaq listing has largely remained a mystery. But a document entitled “Triller Investor Deck” dated late 2022, viewed by Insider, may offer new insights into how Triller has positioned its various businesses.
Insider discussed the investor presentation with two sources knowledgeable about Triller’s business who said they were familiar with some of its contents. We could not independently confirm whether this particular document was a draft version or had been used in pitches to investors.
In a letter sent to Insider last week, Triller’s lawyer said Insider is within its rights to “write an article discussing the contents of the alleged investor deck, provided you explicitly state you did not receive the alleged investor deck or contents thereof from Triller and cannot authenticate the alleged investor deck or contents thereof with Triller.”
Triller aspires to become the “undisputed leader in powering the creator economy” and a “multi-billion, global business with strong operating s,” according to the 24-page “investor presentation,” which is dated September 2022.
The deck includes a breakdown describing Triller’s approach to sports and the “Metaverz,” a slide on “key KPIs” for its business, and a diagram of how each of its divisions support the “creator engine.”
On its path to a public listing as “ILLR,” Triller has bounced between different filing methods.
It first considered going public via a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, Reuters reported in 2020. In December 2021, Triller announced it would instead pursue a reverse merger with the video-tech company Seachange International. By June, it had switched to a new plan for a direct listing with the goal of a 2022 launch.
And yet, the company still hasn’t had its stock-exchange debut. A Triller spokesperson told Insider in January that it was waiting on the SEC to “declare effective” its confidential filing to go public.
Demand for IPOs has dropped precipitously, according to a recent report from financial-services firm Ernst and Young. Many investors have been spooked by macroeconomic conditions, the report’s authors wrote.
It’s unclear what a public offering would mean for Triller’s business, or how much cash the company has on hand today.
It’s faced a variety of lawsuits in recent months from partners including Sony Music and Universal Music Group that alleged the company has failed to make its payments on time. In early December, Triller removed song catalogs from major rights holders from its app. It agreed last month to pay a $4.57 million settlement to Sony Music.
After reporting a $769.7 million net loss in 2021, per Seachange filings, Triller announced in August 2022 it had raised “substantial pre-public financing in the form of debt and equity” from Total Formation Co, Falcon Capital, Clearvue Partners, and others, ahead of an “early Q4 public listing.”
Triller also announced in September it had arranged a deal with a private-investment firm, GEM Global Yield LLC SCS, that would allow Triller to draw up to $310 million over a three-year period after it went public in exchange for equity grants and warrants.
With that post-public funding option on the horizon, Triller is charging ahead with its plan for a direct listing.
The “investor presentation” from last year, which positions Triller’s slate of companies inside a broader $100 billion creator-economy opportunity, offers new perspective into how the company may be thinking about its future.
Here is a breakdown of nine notable slides from the 2022 deck, including how Triller may have viewed its various holdings and key performance indicators:
‘Where Creators Shape Culture, Content, and Commerce’
In the title slide for the presentation, the company was described as a place where “creators shape culture, content, and commerce.”
The deck then includes a set of disclaimers about the document.
The presentation then provided a lengthy list of disclaimers regarding its contents, including that it is for “informational and discussion purposes only” and can’t be relied on in any manner as “legal, tax, regulatory, business or investment advice or as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of an interest in the Company or to participate in any investment or trading strategy.”
The $100 billion creator-economy opportunity
The presentation said Triller could help solve “systemic problems” in the $100 billion creator economy, including delivering a mix of digital and in-person experiences for fans.
In addition to its digital products, Triller hosts live events via its music-battle platform Verzuz and its hybrid combat-sports-and-music-events company, Triller Fight Club. It also owns a streaming platform called FITE where it offers subscription or pay-per-view access to events.
The document also referenced the idea of wasted “walled garden” ads, a term used in the advertising industry to describe ad-buying environments like Google and Facebook where the seller has control of data and limits access and visibility for buyers.
Triller has criticized walled gardens in the past. Its subsidiary Fangage wrote in a blog post that “as part of the Triller family, our access to tools and resources empowers our community to escape the walled garden jail of traditional social media platforms and give them the tools to own and monetize their audience directly.”
One slide presented a “Triller Roadmap,” including strategic M&A and gaining access to capital markets.
On a slide titled “Triller Roadmap,” the presentation laid out where Triller wanted to be in the future.
The document described Triller as offering a “powerful open-garden platform to give creators an unrivaled economic advantage to create, distribute and monetize content.”
It wanted to be the “undisputed leader in powering the creator economy,” and planned to get there by continuing to invest in its technology platform, expanding its number of creators, building partnerships with brands, and leveraging the “METAVERZ,” which the company described on its website as a “first-of-its-kind virtual integrated digital, technology, media, and entertainment platform.”
The company also aspired to be a “multi-billion, global business with strong operating s,” a position it hoped to get to by leveraging its “world-class management team,” doing strategic M&A, accessing capital markets, and expanding globally. The slide described its business at the time as an “integrated collection of leading brands that combine for a unique tech & media platform.”
How different Triller businesses aid creators.
The presentation included a slide dedicated to how each of Triller’s business lines — and other companies it doesn’t own — support creators.
Businesses that help creators monetize included its streaming-platform FITE, its text-marketing tool CLIQZ, and fan-subscription tool Fangage, for example.
The slide showed that platforms like FITE and the Triller app, as well as other social platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Snapchat, help creators distribute content.
Top-level information on the Triller app
The presentation then included a slide with a few statistics about the Triller video app. Its flagship app represented a small piece of its overall business in 2021, according to SEC filings.
The details included:
- 350 million+ organic Triller app downloads.
- Based in the U.S., while other apps have been deemed a threat to national security by government officials.
- The Biggest Creators: Charli D’Amelio, Justin Bieber, Marshmello, JLO, Eminem, Cardi B., The Weeknd, Alicia Keys, Post Malone, and more.
- Data, Fans and $$$ are under the control of creators.
- Global Reach across all open countries and markets.
How sports drives engagement for Triller
In a slide headlined “Triller SPORTS,” readers see a breakdown of how different sports-related businesses boosted engagement for the company.
The slide included a few top-level statistics about different Triller sports products, including:
- 5 million+ registered FITE users.
- 2 billion+ social-media impressions around Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, or BKFC.
- 1,000+ live events streaming/year.
What is the METAVERZ?
In October 2022, as companies big and small were testing the idea of building digital metaverses, Triller announced it was launching its own version called the Metaverz.
“Inside the Metaverz, fans can attend a virtual concert featuring their favorite artists or make their way past the velvet rope of a virtual nightclub and venture into a VIP room to interact with celebrities, influencers and creators,” the company wrote at the time.
In this slide on the METAVERZ, the concept was broken down into elements, including hosting virtual events, tools for socializing, gaming, merchandise, and other types of monetization.
- Music Concerts & Festivals
- Watch Events
- Watch Trills
- Triller TV
- Meet friends
- Connect to social and create content
- Buy, sell, trade
- Watch parties with friends
- Physical & Virtual
- Mini games
- Battle with your avatar
- Earn $ as you play
- Blockchain gaming
- Merch & Collectibles
The presentation then included a few charts featuring “key KPIs” for Triller.
The slide said Triller “tracked” 2.1 million creators and 25,000 brands in 2022, data points that are attributed earlier in the presentation to Julius, an influencer-marketing platform that Triller acquired in March 2022.
It projected over $100 million in revenue for 2022, a figure Triller also shared in an October press release.