Deals | Tencent Leads News Aggregator Qu Toutiao’s USD 100 Million+ Pre-IPO Round

Qu Toutiao, or Fun Headlines, mulls an IPO in the US as soon as this year.

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Qu Toutiao, China’s news and video aggregator, has raised over USD 100 million in a Pre-IPO round led by Tencent, reports Chinese biztech media 36Kr citing multiple sources. The latest round values the startup at USD 1.3-1.5 billion, making it a unicorn.

The Shanghai-based company is reportedly mulling a US IPO at $3 billion value as soon as this year, according to Bloomberg. Qu Toutiao, meaning Fun Headlines in Mandarin Chinese, aggregates news and videos from online sources and then feed users in a personalized way based on their interest.

Most of its users live in third- or fourth-tier cities in China. The app is particularly popular among middle-aged and old netizens. Users stick to the app as they can earn a small amount of money by reading articles or watching video clips. The platform also leverages on social networking to promote its app, encouraging users to invite friends to the app with real cash rewards. The platform gives users less than one dollar for inviting 2 friends.

The content on its platform is a combination of serious news, gossips, health tips, jokes, etc. Its biggest rival Toutiao is already China’s biggest news aggregator and one of the world’s most valuable startups on CB Insights’ unicorn list.