Short-video app TikTok’s parent company ByteDance is set to raise about USD 2 billion led by investors Sequoia Capital and KKR & Co, Reuters reported on Friday, citing unnamed sources.
The new round would value ByteDance at USD 180 billion, more than double its previous valuation of USD 78 billion after financing in 2018, despite a US government order demanding that the Chinese company divest TikTok’s US assets.
ByteDance declined to comment on the new financing round when contacted by 36Kr on Friday. The company has also not responded to KrASIA‘s request for comment on the deal.
Beyond its news aggregator Jinri Toutiao and short-video apps TikTok and Douyin, ByteDance has expanded into gaming, education, e-commerce, and healthcare. The Beijing-based firm is also reportedly venturing into China’s red-hot grocery group-buying sector.
Total gross merchandise volume (GMV) on its short-video platform Douyin reached RMB 18.7 billion (USD 2.8 billion) between October 25 and November 11, during China’s Singles’ Day shopping festival, posing a threat to established e-commerce giants including Alibaba and JD.com.
The company launched Dali Education in October, a new brand to cover all its existing education business including its English-teaching app Gogokid, as well as Qingbei, an online platform targeting K-12 learners.
Soon after, ByteDance launched Xiaohe, a brand for its healthcare business, which includes paid online consultation services, as well as a free medical encyclopedia with information on different various diseases.
To boost its expansion into new sectors, ByteDance planned to hire another 10,000 employees in the last two months of this year, KrASIA reported.