Chinese tech owner of TikTok video app ‘eyes $3bn raise’

Ben Heathcote

In App Deals. August 12, 2018

Bytedance, the Chinese app maker behind popular video apps Musical.ly and TikTok, which earlier this month merged into one product, is reportedly looking to raise $3 billion in its next funding round. The tech giant is also exploring plans for an initial public offering (IPO).

According to Reuters, citing “people with direct knowledge of the matter”, the six-year-old tech company would be raising the capital at a staggering valuation of $75 billion. Bytedance, which is also behind video app Douyin and news feed app Toutiao, is also considering a listing in Hong Kong next year and has been in talks with two investment banks.

Founded by entrepreneur Zhang Yiming in 2012, Bytedance is targeting a valuation of between $70 billion and $75 billion in the latest fundraising, one of the sources told Reuters.

If the investment deal goes ahead Bytedance would become the world’s second-largest ‘unicorn’ – private firms valued at $1 billion or more – overtaking ride-hailing giant Uber which has a valuation of $68 billion.

Bytedance is backed by the likes of venture firm Sequoia Capital and private equity players including KKR, General Atlantic and Hillhouse Capital Group. However, it is independent from Chinese tech heavyweights Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group.