The parent company of TikTok rival Triller has bought Thuzio, a live events company co-founded by former New York Giant Tiki Barber, The Post has learned.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Triller Network executives said it will expand their company’s reach, which includes Fight Club, a boxing and entertainment streamer co-founded by Snoop Dogg; and Verzuz, a live-streaming song battle franchise co-founded by rappers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz.
Triller Network’s ambitions are high as it plans to go public in the coming months, according to a source, who put the company’s valuation at around $5 billion.
“We think about creating the world’s largest stage for creators,” Triller Network CEO Mahi Da Silva told The Post. “Thuzio is really known for some marquee events. For instance, a party they put together for the Super Bowl attracts a ton of celebrities. It’s a see and be seen event.”
That’s a major selling point for Triller, which is known for events like Jake Paul’s pay-per-view fight against Ben Askren, which included performances from the likes of Justin Bieber and The Black Keys, or its recent fight pitting Evander Holyfield versus Vitor Belfort.
Founded in 2012, Thuzio is an influencer marketplace that gives corporate clients, who shell out $30,000 for a membership to the company, opportunities to hobnob with celebrities across sports, music and entertainment. That includes VIP events and in-person talks with NFL greats Lawrence Taylor, Joe Montana, “Dallas Buyers Club” actor Matthew McConaughey, as well as cooking demonstrations with celebrity chef Josh Capon.
“Imagine asking a client: Would you like to go to a Giants game or would you like to hang out with a Giants legend?,” said ex-running back Barber, who helped launch Thuzio. “The proposition became easy for us to sell.”
But when pandemic hit, Thuzio’s in-person events business vanished over night. According to CEO Jared Augustine, the company was forced into a “virtual realm” and the team found ways to take their business online, offering talks and master class videos for clients, focusing less on sports and bringing in celebrities from other industries.
“We decided to really dive in and become the best virtual events company,” Augustine said, noting that heir business grew the most it ever had– by 100 percent– this year.
Augustine said strong growth, which is expected to continue at the same clip in the next few years, brought Triller to the table in March.
Under the deal with Triller, both Augustine and Barber, who co-founded the company with Mark Gerson, will remain at the company. It will also make Thuzio’s events available to the general public, not just corporate clients. The firm will also work with Triller to monetize its thousands of hours of filmed talks and master classes.