Ryan Kavanaugh is the first to admit that he became so wrapped up in his old life that he could not see the clear signs it was no longer working for him. Having emerged from business bankruptcy, serious health issues, and a divorce just a few years ago, Kavanaugh is now the majority shareholder of Triller, the wildly successful video-sharing app. He learned many lessons along the way that have given him deeper appreciation for his new opportunities and the simpler things in life.
A Meteoric Rise from Business Defeat
Kavanaugh sat at the helm of Relativity Media for many years, which many described as a new age TV and movie company. He struggled with non-committed business partners and bank financing issues, among many other challenges. Even after spending $100 million in two years in an attempt to keep Relativity Media afloat, Kavanaugh had to declare business bankruptcy twice and close the company in 2016.
Personal challenges and more business defeats followed, leaving some in the entertainment industry to wrongly assume that Kavanaugh’s days as an executive were over for good. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Kavanaugh became the majority shareholder of Triller just three years later.
Triller and Trump
Kavanaugh was prepared to make major changes at Triller after infusing more than $28 million in capital into the company. He sought big-name entertainers and influencers, all the while thinking creatively when it came to increasing the platform’s value. His tactics worked, and Triller soon had more prominent performers and viewers than ever. Then President Donald Trump did Kavanaugh an unknown favor.
While aboard the presidential plane Air Force One in July 2020, Trump raised questions about how TikTok, Triller’s biggest competitor, kept the data of more than 800 million users private. The former president called for an outright ban on TikTok in the United States, which never materialized. However, his announcement had a major impact on Triller because millions of new users signed up for the platform and performers and investors inquired about how they could become involved.
Kavanaugh Takes Advantage of the Increased Attention
With millions of new users on the platform, Ryan Kavanaugh knew he had to offer them something unique to earn their loyalty. He soon developed the Triller Fight Club to promote professional boxing and rekindle international interest in the sport. A little more than three months after Trump unknowingly sent an incredible amount of traffic to Triller, the fight club premiered its first broadcast featuring a boxing match between Mike Tyson and Roy Jones, Jr. Triller Fight Club has since become a major holding for the company.
Within six months of President Trump calling for a countrywide ban on TikTok, Triller’s value jumped from $130 million to $1.25 billion. Since the former president brought the company free advertising it never expected, Kavanaugh has not let the opportunity to increase market share go to waste. Besides developing the Triller Fight Club, he has negotiated with some of the top singers and entertainers to leave TikTok and come onboard with Triller.