Jan 5 (Reuters) - Triller Inc, a budding U.S. competitor to popular short-video app TikTok, said on Tuesday it has hired former music executive Paul Kahn as its new chief financial officer, bolstering the company’s ranks ahead of a potential stock market listing.
Kahn was previously CFO at Warner Chappell Music, the global music publishing business of Warner Music Group, for five years. Prior to that, he was a senior vice president involved in strategy and development at media firm Viacom .
“Paul’s wealth of experience, coupled with Triller’s extraordinary momentum, is sure to accelerate us forward into this next chapter of expansion, and we’re lucky to have him on board,” Triller co-owner and executive chairman, Bobby Sarnevesht said in a statement.
Kahn will be Triller’s first CFO.
“I’m elated to be joining Triller at such a great time in the company’s growth,” Kahn said.
Kahn’s hiring comes as Triller is engaging in active discussions with special purpose acquisition companies about a merger which would take it public, according to a people familiar with the matter.
Triller declined to comment on any SPAC discussions.
A SPAC is a shell company that raises money in an initial public offering (IPO) to merge with a privately held company which then becomes publicly traded as a result.
They have emerged as a popular IPO alternative for companies, providing a path to going public with less regulatory scrutiny and more certainty over the valuation that will be attained and funds that will be raised.
Los Angeles-based Triller was launched in 2015 and only has a fraction of the 100 million users that TikTok boasts in the United States.
Triller said last year it had 65 million monthly active users on its short video app, although many analytics companies have said they have not been provided enough access to independently verify Triller’s figures.
TikTok, owned by Chinese conglomerate ByteDance, has been in a months-long dispute with the U.S. government over its ownership structure, with the Trump administration arguing that the personal data of U.S. users could be obtained by China’s government.
Reporting by Echo Wang in New York and Joshua Franklin in Miami; Editing by Aurora Ellis