Netease is reportedly readying a US IPO for its popular dictionary and learning app Youdao, with negotiations ongoing with two “well-known” underwriters, according to an exclusive from 36Kr.
Youdao, which is billed as a hybrid search engine and online education platform, operates China’s most popular dictionary and translation app, which also doubles as a comprehensive language learning app.
It counted more than than 700 million users at the start of the year, according to 36Kr, and raised its Series A financing round at a USD 1.1 billion (RMB 7.58 billion) valuation in April 2018.
The company also operates a number of other learning and education-related services, including MOOCs, boutique classes, online courses, and smart hardware, including pens and pocket printers.
Meanwhile, Youdao’s parent, Netease, is listed on NASDAQ and one of China’s largest internet companies, with RMB 67.16 billion (USD 9.8 billion) in revenue last year. Netease has more than 800 million users, including 17 million daily users, across its portfolio of apps, with Youdao accounting for a significant share.
Earlier this year, Ding Lei, the president of Netease, mentioned “games, e-commerce, education, and music” as the company’s four core strategic pillars, marking the first time education was mentioned in the company’s grand strategy.
Shortly after, Netease reorganized its portfolio by merging its core education companies into a single unit.
If this listing succeeds, Netease Education will be broken out as a separate company, and go public ahead of the company’s e-commerce and music business.
36Kr is KrAsia’s parent company.