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Alibaba and Jack Ma’s YF Capital to join Kuaishou’s upcoming Hong Kong IPO

Written by Song Jingli Published on 

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Tencent, which has backed Kuaishou since 2017, will be a cornerstone investor in the IPO.

Chinese short video and livestreaming app Kuaishou is expected to file for an initial public offering in Hong Kong as early as this week, with both Tencent and Alibaba affiliates participating, The Beijing News reported on Sunday.

Tencent will be a cornerstone investor in the IPO, while YF Capital, the VC established by Jack Ma, and possibly other Alibaba investment vehicles will subscribe new shares, according to the article. Kuaishou reportedly aims for a valuation of USD 50 billion.

Tencent started to buy into Kuaishou in the Series D round in 2017, led its Series E in 2018 and USD 3 billion pre-IPO round last year, while YF Capital joined in the pre-IPO round. The Beijing News quotes a source saying that Alibaba’s affiliates—which haven’t been revealed—are mainly interested in pulling Kuaishou’s users to its own e-commerce platforms.

Kuaishou, which was founded in 2011 as a GIF tool, has become the second largest short video and livestreaming platform in China with more than 300 million daily active users, only lagging behind ByteDance, which owns Douyin and its overseas version TikTok. ByteDance is also considering a public listing of Douyin as an independent entity in Hong Kong.

Kuaishou held an 8% share of the USD 63 billion livestreaming e-commerce market in China following Alibaba (NYSE: BABA)’s Taobao Live with 79% and Douyin with 13% in 2019, according to TechNode.

The company has seen more than 500 million online shopping orders on its platform in August, making it the fourth-largest e-commerce platform in China by total order volume in the past 12 months, behind Alibaba’s Taobao and Tmall, JD.com (NASDAQ:JD), and Pinduoduo (NASDAQ: PDD).

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