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TikTok Rival Triller Agrees to Merge With Seachange

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Triller, a social-video platform, agreed to a merger with Seachange International Inc. in a move that will take the smaller rival to TikTok public.

The transaction will value Triller at about $5 billion — a four-fold increase over its recent valuation of $1.25 billion, according to PitchBook. It’s expected to close in the first quarter, the companies said in a statement Wednesday.

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The deal links up Triller with a publicly held company, letting it bypass an initial public offering. Seachange describes itself as a provider of video delivery, advertising and streaming platforms. The Acton, Massachusetts-based company is led by Chief Executive Officer Pete Aquino, a telecom veteran who previously ran RCN Corp.

Like TikTok, Triller lets users post short videos with music and filters. The Los Angeles-based company says its app has been downloaded 250 million times. That’s a small fraction of TikTok’s billions of downloads, but Triller has picked up some influential users, including Justin Bieber, Alicia Keys and former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump turned to Triller earlier this year after being suspended from Twitter, though he hasn’t used the service recently. His latest post on Triller condemned the Capitol riots in January. The former president is working on his own social media efforts: He announced plans in October to create a platform called Truth Social, which is slated to be operating by the first quarter of 2022.

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As part of Triller’s expansion plans, it acquired Thuzio last month, gaining a company that specializes in business-to-business events. Triller is led by CEO Mahi de Silva, with Ryan Kavanaugh and Bobby Sarnevesht acting as co-controlling shareholders of its parent, TrillerNet.

TrillerNet also owns Verzuz, a livestreaming music platform launched by hip hop artists Swizz Beatz and Timbaland; Amplify.ai, a customer engagement platform; and streaming site FITE.

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