Jinri Toutiao rival Qutoutiao reduces IPO financing volume by nearly 50% | Digital Asia
Digital Asia News Update
Tencent-backed Chinese content aggregator Qutoutiao (趣头条), or “Fun Headlines,”, which recently filed for an IPO in the US, has lowered the amount it expects to raise from $300 million to $165 million.
The company initially submitted its IPO filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commision on August 17. However, it filed an amendment on September 4 in which it reduced its maximum offering price by close to 50%.
In the updated document, the company said it expects the initial offering price to be between $7 and $9. The company said the proceeds would be used in a variety of areas, including expanding and enhancing content offerings.
According to the filing, Qutoutiao has 62 million monthly active users (MAUs), 21 million daily active users who spend more than 55 minutes on the platform every day.
The company is the biggest rival of Jinri Toutiao, China’s top aggregation app. It also has close ties to Tencent, which was a lead investor in its Series A in January 2017 and Series B in March. The financing valued the company at more than $1.6 billion, raising it to the status of a unicorn.
Tencent’s involvement in Qutoutiao makes sense—the tech giant has been at odds with Jinri Toutiao’s parent company Bytedance for some time. The two companies have been in and out of court for a range of issues, including unfair competition. There is also somewhat of a feud between the company’s CEOs, who have taken to arguing on WeChat Moments, a feature similar to that of Facebook’s newsfeed.
Despite the competition, Qutoutiao and Jinri Toutiao have different target markets. While the latter focuses on higher-tier cities, the former has directed its attention to smaller cities. Qutoutiao was founded in 2016 when it drew users by awarding coins for using the app and inviting friends. These coins could be later exchanged to real RMB