TrillerNet also is close to approval to become the second company to use the Robinhood Markets Inc. online trading platform to distribute IPO shares to retail investors.
Santa Monica-based online retailer Figs Inc., which makes stylish scrubs for medical professionals, was the first company to offer shares on Robinhood in its trading debut on May 27.
TrillerNet is far along in the process to go public. It has retained the compliance unit of London-based Ernst & Young Global Ltd. to help draft the S1 filing, which could take 30 to 90 days to obtain approval from the SEC before trading can begin.
The company, which is applying to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TRIL, is expected to begin trading in the fourth quarter, the source said.
A TrillerNet spokesman declined to comment on the company’s plans.
Prior to going public, TrillerNet plans to raise $500 million by selling a private investment in public equity, or PIPE, to a select group of investors. The PIPE would be sold in TrillerNet during the run-up to the direct listing later in the year, the source explained.
The list of PIPE investors provided by the source includes a who’s who in the investment world: Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund owned by the emirate of Abu Dhabi; investors in Dubai; Toronto-based asset management firm AGF Management Ltd.; Stamford, Conn.-based private equity firm Clearview Capital; and Boston-based private equity firm Falcon Investment Advisors.
Other investors include Taiwanese investment firm Fubon Financial Holding Co., which is run by billionaire brothers Daniel and Richard Tsai; Santa Monica-based venture capital firm Halogen Ventures; Greenwich, Conn.-based alternative asset management firm Pegasus Capital Advisors; New York-based Omicron Capital; South Korean venture capital firm Kakao Investment Corp.; and venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners Co., which is dual headquartered in Santa Monica and Singapore.
The source said TrillerNet had begun to review up to a dozen offers from special purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, over the last year but had ultimately rejected going public through that route because sponsors would profit more than TrillerNet could by doing the IPO on its own.
TrillerNet has diversified beyond short-form video apps to live events, mobile gaming and pay-per-view streaming.
The company said it has more than 400 million users worldwide across its
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