The deals, both announced today, are part of an 18-month string of acquisitions in which the parent of social media app Triller has invested $250 million. Triller, a short-form video rival to TikTok, has more than 300 million global users.
Along with the M&A transactions, TrillerNet said Amplify.ai co-founder and CEO Mahi de Silva will be the new CEO of TrillerNet. De Silva had already been non-executive board chairman of TrillerNet. He replaces Mike Lu, who will become president of TrillerNet and shift his focus to investor relations.
Bobby Sarnevesht will remain executive chairman of TrillerNet. He and Ryan Kavanaugh, a known figure in Hollywood as the former head of the twice-bankrupted Relativity Studios, are co-controlling shareholders of TrillerNet.
In a press release, Kavanaugh called Fite “the perfect long-form platform for Triller to continue releasing its cultural content spanning fighting, sports, fashion, music and pop culture.” With the transaction, he added, “We have officially completed our 360-degree content engine with this acquisition.”
Fite claims 10 million users and 4 million registered fans and has streamed 5,000 live events over the past five years. It has teamed up with combat sports brands including Top Rank, AEW, PBC, ONE Championship, WWE, Impact, Golden Boy Promotions and Matchroom Boxing.
With Fite in the fold, Triller said it will expand Triller Fight Club, a partnership with Snoop Dogg. Along with Fite’s existing distribution relationships, a range of diversified streaming offerings beyond the ring are being explored. One potential complement to Fite already in the portfolio is TrillerTV, a long-form content streaming platform with more than 65 original half-hour digital series. Talent involved in those shows includes Jennifer Lopez, The D’Amelio Family, 2 Chainz, Jake Paul and Perez Hilton.
In 2018, Relativity emerged a second time from bankruptcy and was sold to UltraV Holdings, which then hired Kavanaugh as a consultant. UltraV got Relativity in exchange for waiving $40 million in outstanding obligations, assuming its liabilities, funding wind-down administrative costs and setting aside $350,000 for unsecured creditors.