TikTok’s US-based rival, Triller, announced in the past 24 hours that it had completed a “substantial” round of public funding in the form of debt and equity.
Triller did not give a figure on the said funding, but the company’s CEO and President, Mahi de Silva, confirmed that Triller has raised more than $300 million to date.
However, there is a wrinkle in Triller’s Press Release confirm its new gain. The company said that it is now “expected to be publicly traded on Nasdaq under the stock ticker Karaoke in the fourth quarter of this year.”
This seems to represent another delay in Triller’s planned IPO in the US.
That June announcement itself came right after Triller announced that they were phasing out again IPO plans – this time through a Merger with Seachange – was originally scheduled to “close in Q1 2022”.
However, the bigger headache for Triller is a new lawsuit from Sony Music Entertainment (SME), filed in the US yesterday (August 29).
It states that Triller does not currently have a licensing agreement with Sony Music, the world’s second-largest record company.
According to the complaint, you can Read it in full hereSME is suing Triller for what it alleges is “Triller’s willful and unauthorized use of copyrighted sound recordings by Sony Music in Triller’s commercial social media service” plus “Triller’s failure and refuses to pay the millions of dollars in contractual licensing fees that Triller has agreed to pay to use Sony Music’s copyrighted content in Triller’s commercial service.”
The lawsuit claims that Sony Music and Triller entered into a September 2016 content distribution agreement whereby Sony authorized Triller (and their users) to reproduce, distribute, and create copyrighted works. generated from major music company recordings, artwork, and metadata.
Triller paid Sony Music “licensing fees and other considerations”[s]”For this deal. However, things then started to turn sour.
“While Triller had previously failed to make timely payments under the Agreement, its failures have recently escalated,” Sony’s lawsuit states.
“Beginning March 2022, Triller failed to make any of the monthly payments required under the Agreement, totaling millions of dollars… After months of Sony Music demanding Triller payments unpaid and overdue fees and almost complete radio silence, Sony Music notified Triller on July 22, 2022 that it was in material breach of the Agreement.
“Following a substantially unresponsive, less remedial, breach of the Agreement by payment, Sony Music terminated the Agreement on August 8, 2022.
“In doing so, Sony Music has explicitly informed Triller that continued use of Sony Music Content would constitute intentional copyright infringement.”
Sony states that since terminating its agreement with Triller on August 8, the video company has “continued to reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, display, create derivative works, and exploit Valuable Sony Music Content in connection with the Triller App”.
SME is seeking damages for both Triller’s alleged breach of the 2016 agreement, plus “intentional infringement” of Sony’s copyright since its termination on August 8.
In addition, Sony is seeking an injunction that “prevents Triller’s large-scale, deliberate and intentional campaign of infringing on and [its artists’] valuable recordings”.
Sony’s complaint mainly focuses on what it calls the “11th Amendment” to its Triller deal, which it says was signed by both parties in December 2021 and is delayed to include including Triller’s use of the Sony Music copyright from December 2020 onwards.
This, according to Sony’s lawsuit, “requires Triller to make an initial payment due on performance, followed by payments due on the first day of each month from March 1, 2022.” until November 1, 2022”.
It added: “In general, the license fee covers Triller and user exploitation of Sony Music Content under the Agreement between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2022, for a total of is millions of dollars.
“To date, Triller has not made any monthly payments due under the Eleventh Amendment.”
“In general, the licensing fees cover Triller and users’ exploitation of Sony Music Content under the Agreement between December 1, 2020 and November 30, 2022, totaling millions of dollars. la. To date, Triller has not made any monthly payments due under the 11th Amendment.”
Sony Music lawsuit
Sony’s legal complaint comes in the same month that we learn that Triller is also being sued by superstar producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.
The duo is demanding $28 million in missing payments related to Triller’s purchase of their song fighting platform Verzuz in early 2021.
However, in the weeks leading up to the signing of that deal, things weren’t quite as friendly: accused Damn it when “our artists are shamefully withheld from payments” as well as “rejected[ing] to negotiate a license in the future”.
Reply, Triller made the, ahem, how surprising declares that it”[does] no agreement with UMG is required to continue operating as it has since [Universal’s] the artists involved are already shareholders or partners on Triller, and can therefore directly authorize their use”.
Universal disagrees – calling that claim “removed from reality”.
Participants in Triller’s latest funding round, announced yesterday, include Total Formation Co, a subsidiary of Fubon Financial.
Other investors include Falcon Capital and Clearvue Partners.
Mahi de Silva, CEO and President of Triller, said: “This is an important step for Triller to be properly funded when entering the Public Market.
“We are delighted to have strong investors leading the market and look forward to bringing Triller to the world through listing on Nasdaq,” he continued. “If capital markets continue to stabilize, we are aiming for an early listing in the fourth quarter.”
Triller also announced that it has completed its acquisition of the Bare Knuckle Fight Championship (BKFC), a transaction it announced it signed earlier this year.
De Silva added: “We want to thank our partners, investors and supporters who have so far helped take Triller from a startup in 2019 to a name. familiar today, has raised over $300 million, supports over 750 million monthly interactions and over 300 million users across all of its platforms. We are just getting started. “Worldwide music business