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‘Bytedance tangos with USD 75bn valuation’
Posted on Wednesday, 08 August 2018 13:39
Beijing Bytedance Technology, the Chinese startup known for owning the country’s largest mobile-based news and video aggregator Toutiao, is believed to be gearing up for a USD 3.00 billion financing round. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) first reported the news that early-stage talks for a possible fundraiser could value the social media content platform operator at as much as USD 75.00 billion. Separately, sources with knowledge of the discussion told Bloomberg that Bytedance is mostly targeting US investors but gave the usual cautions that there is no guarantee as to the terms of the equity injection. Regardless, if the fundraiser went ahead at this kind of valuation, then the mobile-based entertainment apps developer would become one of the largest members of the global unicorn club. It would surpass ride hailing giant Uber Technologies’ USD 68.00 billion and Didi Chuxing, the Chinese transportation platform and autonomous technology conglomerate worth USD 56.00 billion. Ant Financial is a tough one to pigeon-hole as some would not count the Alibaba affiliate as a startup, while others would not disregard the USD 150.00 billion-financial technology player. In fact, sources told Reuters Bytedance actually turned down an offer by the ecommerce powerhouse -regarding a possible acquisition or investment - earlier this year. Reports of the fundraiser come on the heels of rumours that the news aggregator is considering pulling the trigger on an initial public offering, which the Financial Times suggested earlier this week could come as early as next year. It follows on from speculation sparked by the WSJ last month that Bytedance could float in Hong Kong with a valuation of over USD 45.00 billion, while fuelling investor appetite for technology and Internet listings. China has started ramping up censorship of online content in an attempt to remove allegedly inappropriate information on popular sites and newsfeeds and replace it with Beijing-approved propaganda. The crackdown has already led to the apps being either temporarily removed from Internet stores or entirely shut down. © Zephus Ltd