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Bytedance to buy Musical.ly
Posted on Monday, 13 November 2017 09:17
Beijing-headquartered Bytedance is purchasing social entertainment application (app) Musical.ly from co-founders Louis Yang and Alex Zhu and other investors, including internet software holding company Cheetah Mobile.

Additional vendors include GGV Management, Susquehanna International, CRCM Venture, Morningside Group (Holdings) and Greylock Management.

While no financial details have been disclosed, Reuters values the deal at between USD 800.00 million and USD 1.00 billion.

The news provider also stated that Yang and Zhu would continue to run the Musical.ly platform, which will operate independently but integrate the buyer’s artificial intelligence technology.

Founded in 2012, Bytedance owns a series of content platforms but is perhaps best known for its flagship online news portal called Jinri Toutiao, or Today's Headlines.

Reportedly worth over USD 20.00 billion, the mobile app is touted as the largest artificial intelligence-powered information network in China, with more than 120.00 million daily active users.

Zhang Yiming, the acquiror’s chief executive, said “integrating Musical.ly’s global reach with Bytedance’s massive user base in China and key Asian markets” will create “a significant global platform for our content creators and brands to engage with new markets”.

This is the latest transaction as part of the strategic cooperation between the purchaser and Cheetah Mobile, which owned a 17.4 per cent stake in the target as of 31st December 2016.

Just last week, the former sold the latter its French online news aggregator News Republic for USD 86.60 million, as part of what Bytedance called its “international expansion strategy” in a statement released at the time.

Based in San Francisco, California and founded in China, Musical.ly develops the app of the same name, which allows users to film and share short music videos of themselves miming to popular songs.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows that this deal is one of 3,947 targeting software publishers announced worldwide so far this year.

© Zephus Ltd