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TikTok challenger Triller is reportedly exploring an IPO as questions swirl over its user numbers

  • Video app Triller is exploring the possibility of an IPO, sources told Reuters.
  • The company is reportedly in talks to set up a public listing via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).
  • It is simultaneously pursuing a private funding round, and sources told Reuters it had raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.25 billion so far.
  • The sources said no deal is yet firm, and that Triller is still deciding which path to take.
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Short-form video app Triller, which bills itself as a rival to the wildly successful TikTok, is reportedly exploring an IPO.

Reuters reported Sunday that Triller was in talks with investment bank Farvahar Partners about a potential merger and IPO.

Sources told Reuters the merger, if successful, would be with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). 

SPACs are essentially shell companies that go public to raise capital in order to acquire a company, allowing their target to easily obtain a public listing.

Triller was simultaneously in talks to raise a private fundraising round, sources told Reuters, adding that it had raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.25 billion so far.

Reuters' sources said Triller was deciding whether to carry on with the private raise or forge a deal with the SPAC. They added that no deal was certain yet.

Triller was not immediately available to comment on the report when contacted by Business Insider.

Triller has positioned itself as an emerging competitor to TikTok, which it is suing for alleged patent infringement.

Last month it said it had 100 million monthly active users, and CEO Mike Lu told TechCrunch Disrupt on September 15 that the company's growth was "definitely on a rocket ship." 

TikTok remains much larger than Triller, with 689 million monthly active users worldwide as of July 2020. 

But six former Triller employees told Business Insider's Dan Whateley that Triller's public statements on its user growth from October last year did not match internal analytics they saw when they were at the firm.

Triller CEO Mike Lu said in response that the former employees were "disseminating inaccurate information."

Triller also claimed last month it was involved in the race to buy TikTok's US operations, a bidding war that was eventually won by tech giant Oracle. TikTok's parent company ByteDance denied it had discussed a deal with Triller.

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