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Classical music licensor Kuke raises USD 50 million in US IPO

Written by Wency Chen Published on     2 mins read

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The company licenses content to educational institutions, music platforms, and concert organizers.

Kuke Music, a Beijing-based music licensing provider with a focus on classical themes, has raised USD 50 million in its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange, offering 5 million American Depositary Shares (ADSs) at USD 10 per share. Trading began on Tuesday under the ticker KUKE.

The company granted the underwriters the option to purchase up to 750,000 additional ADSs at USD 10 within 30 days from the date of the final prospectus on January 7. China Securities and Valuable Capital are acting as underwriters, with Deutsche Bank, US Tiger Securities, and AMTD Global Markets as their representatives.

Launched in 2002, Kuke Music has built a library of classical music content with approximately 1.8 million tracks, including jazz, world, folk, and other genres, according to its prospectus. It is licensing content to online platforms, such as Tencent Music Entertainment and NetEase Cloud Music, as well as film and TV production companies, airlines, universities, public libraries, and other institutional clients.

Educational services

On top of that, Kuke started to offer music teaching programs to students and schools, primarily targeting young piano learners. Its “smart teaching system” comes pre-installed with Kuke pianos and real-time, individualized feedback on student performance as they practice.

In 2019, its total revenue decreased by 4.1% year-on-year (YoY) from RMB 152.2 million in 2018 to RMB 146.1 million (USD 21.0 million) while its profit increased by 40.3% YoY from RMB 40.5 million in 2018 to RMB 56.8 million (USD 8.2 million). In the first nine months of 2020, the revenue decreased by 14.6% to RMB 34.9 million (USD 5.0 million). It also reported a loss of RMB 59.4 million (USD 8.5 million) for the period, according to the prospectus.

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