The company had been in deep discussions with special purpose acquisition corporations (SPACs) over the last eight to 12 months, confirms the source. But instead of merging with a SPAC — a blank check company that raises money through an IPO with the sole purpose of acquiring a private company — TrillerNet chose to take a direct investment from a group of large investors that have stakes in several of the same SPACs.
This route will give the group of private investors a 20% discount on the company’s valuation, providing TrillerNet with more funding than a SPAC merger at an equal valuation TrillerNet found this option to be preferable to a standard transaction in which SPAC founders would receive additional shares that would have ultimately diluted its equity value by 30%, according to the source. A spokesperson for TrillerNet declined to comment.
A direct listing would end a long-expected play for TrillerNet to trade on a public market. TrillerNet was reportedly close to a merger with an unnamed SPAC in the first months of 2021. In a Feb. 16, 2021, Billboard article, then-CEO Mike Lu claimed the company should be worth $10 billion after a $250 million funding round reported in October 2020 valued the company at $1.25 billion. Triller now claims to have 300 million app downloads to date.