Bytedance Could Soon be Worth $75 Billion Overtaking Uber
Bytedance owner of Tik Tok app and it could be the highest value startup in the world.
According to insiders, the Chinese technology group Bytedance could soon take second place among the most valuable unlisted companies behind Fintech Ant Financial. Bytedance is negotiating with investors about a $3 billion cash injection, several people familiar with the talks told the Wall Street Journal.
If the financing will go through, Bytedance would be worth $75 billion and would overtake the Uber with its $68 billion. According to the report, the six-year-old company is considering its IPO in Hong Kong next year and is already in talks with investment banks.
At the start of the year, Uber was the world’s largest trading partner, valued at $68 billion. Secondly, the Chinese taxi app Didi Chuxing valued at $56 billion.
Bytedance is the group behind the popular Chinese news website Jinri Toutiao and the Tik Tok short video platform, whose app was downloaded more frequently in the world than any competing product in the first quarter. Bytedance’s main app Toutiao, a smart news aggregator, has more than 120 million users in China.
The rise of ByteDance
ByteDance is one of the rising stars of Chinese tech. The firm also brings together an empire of social applications turned to video. After launching Huoshan and Xigua in 2016, the group bought the Californian platform Flipagram in February 2017 and invested in November in Live.me’s live video application.
Several lawsuits oppose the two firms on different subjects. Chinese censorship authorities have also targeted ByteDance’s services for content deemed “vulgar”, forcing the closure of the Neihan humorous platform in April.
Teamed up with Musical.ly
Just last week, the service teamed up with the popular karaoke platform Musical.ly. Following the takeover of billions by Bytedance, the app Musical.ly, known for its playback videos, is planning a change of strategy. Musical.ly is more than just “lip-sync,” but an all-around entertainment platform with areas such as sports, entertainment or beauty.
Like Dubsmash, Musical.ly allows users to record short videos by dubbing songs from famous artists but has its own sharing environment, essentially functioning as a social network.
Musical.ly was born in 2014 in Shanghai as a platform where users, including many teenagers, film themselves doing karaoke or dancing to famous songs. The service extended to content such as skits, cooking recipes or make-up tips, all in short videos of up to fifteen seconds. The platform evokes both Instagram with its influencers and hashtags, and Snapchat with its visual filters.
Tik Tok app
Tik Tok is the Chinese counterpart to Musical.ly, also owned by Bytedance and is especially popular in Asia. The app (also known as Douyin in China) has 150 million active users daily in June this year and around 500 million monthly users worldwide.
The European sister was especially popular with female teens and had over 250 million registered accounts according to the management. Of these, about 100 million users in Europe and the US are active at least once a month.
Bytedance tries to combine the number of users in the different regions with the now completed step – and thus to increase the range. Tik Tok is said to be more and more strategic for Vlogs, Comedy, and Entertainment.
According to Bytedance, Tik Tok has long gone around the popularity of the original. This caused the company to unite Musical.ly and Tik Tok. In June, Musical.ly folded the Live.ly application for real-time streaming video and encouraged users to switch to LiveMe from Cheetah Mobile, a similar application into which Bytedance invested $50 million.
The updated Tik Tok application includes the most popular elements of Tik Tok and Musical.ly applications. It consists of a ribbon that displays popular materials from the user community and contains personalized video recommendations based on personal preferences.
Bytedance growth has been mercurial, but the company has also come with problems with international expansion. Tik Tok entered the Indonesian market in September 2017 and was immediately warmly welcomed, especially among young people, and became the most downloaded application on the iPhone.
The platform has attracted Indonesia’s attention for some weeks because it was blocked by the Ministry of Communication and Information on July 3, 2018. Tik Tok was considered to have negative content in it such as pornography and religious pollution. However, since July 10, Tik Tok has been accessed again with some censorship.
Bytedance generates a large part of the turnover through advertising revenues. On the one hand, the additional funds will be used to secure the company’s growth and to prepare the IPO planned for next year in Hong Kong via an initial public offering (IPO).
Bytedance investors include Sequoia Capital, KKR, and General Atlantic, but not Chinese tech giants Tencent and Alibaba.