Beijing Bytedance Technology Co., the developer behind China’s news distributor Toutiao and short video app Douyin, is close to completing a US$3 billion pre-IPO round of financing, according to 36Kr citing people familiar with the matter.
The company is aiming to hit the Hong Kong market with its initial public offering (IPO) next year. It has been in talks with investment banks such as the Japanese conglomerate SoftBank for an over US$45 billion listing.
In August 2018, Beijing Bytedance Technology Co. had reportedly launched the equity-fundraising round.
The round could value the owner of China’s most popular news-aggregation app at as much as US$75 billion.
Bytedance did not immediately respond to China Money Network’s emails seeking for comments.
Founded in 2012 by entrepreneur Zhang Yiming, Beijing-based ByteDance operates several popular AI-driven multimedia content platforms across a wide variety of formats from text, photo, audio to short video.
In 2018, the company kicked off some new application such as Pipixia, an app focusing on humorous content, and an online education platform Gogokid.
Last August, Bytedance had raised a new funding round of over US$2 billion led by American private equity firm General Atlantic. Its other current backers include KKR & Co and Sequoia Capital.
Upon completion, the funding round could make Bytedance world’s second largest unicorn in valuation, surpassing ride-sharing firm Uber Technologies which now is valued at US$72 billion, according to CB Insights.