Toutiao completes over $3b pre-IPO financing at $75b valuation

Bytedance braves the storm in its journey to become the next Chinese tech public company.

Source: Toutiao.

Bytedance Technology, the developer of news distributor Toutiao and short video app Douyin, has just completed its pre-IPO financing at a valuation of US$75 billion, according to China biztech media 36Kr (link in Chinese), our parent,  citing sources familiar with the matter. This is a confidence booster as the firm plans for its 2019 public offering amidst widespread market volatility.

36Kr learnt that the new financing started in August at a pre-money valuation of US$75 billion, and completed in a short span of mere 2 months.

While the Beijing-based company declined our request for comment, there were market speculations pegged the funding amount at a range between US$3 billion and US$4 billion.

We reported earlier that Bytedance is raising a US$3 billion pre-IPO round from investors including SoftBank, KKR, and Primavera Capital Group, etc. Some of the other investors have backed the company include General Atlantic, GGV, Qiming Ventures, Ether Capital, and Sky9 Capital amongst others.

Founded in 2012 by serial entrepreneur Zhang Yiming, Bytedance, leveraging on its artificial intelligence and algorithm prowess, has launched a series of content platforms distributing news (Toutiao/News Republic) or short video (Tik Tok/Xigua/Huoshan Video) to its app users.

In addition, the company has also been exploring new products and business ideas, from launching edtech service Gogokid to experimenting social e-commerce with Zhidian and Xincao, trying to organically and efficiently monetize its huge traffic scattered across some of its top apps, such as Toutiao and Tik Tok.

People close to the company told 36kr that Bytedance’s main OKRs (objectives and key results) for this year are two numbers, namely, 600 million (daily active users) and 50 billion (ad revenue in RMB, or US$ 7.2 billion).

Editor: Ben Jiang