Photo and Video App Developer Meitu to Raise up to US$710M in Hong Kong IPO

image credit: Meitu
image credit: Meitu

Meitu, Inc., which provides photo and video editing and sharing services, plans to launch IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on December 15th to raise between HK$4.9 billion and HK$ 5.5 billion (roughly US$630M – US$710M).

The company claims that the combined install base of their mobile apps had reached 1.1 billion worldwide as of June 2016, with 446 million monthly active users and 370 million overseas users. (Document in Chinese)

Starting in 2008 with PC-based photo editing software, Meitu provides now photo editing app MeituPic (or Meitu Xiuxiu), selfie app BeautyCam, video clip sharing and live streaming app Meipai, Android phone MeituKiss and Meitu Camera.

As of June 2016, Meipai, MeituPic and BeautyCam had 141 million, 103 million and 113 million monthly active users, respectively. Meipai users spend an average of more than 30 minutes daily, according to the company. 70% of Meitu’s users were young women as of January 2015.

MeituKiss phone, designed for selfie fanatics, has released six generations since 2013.

The company recorded RMB86 million, RMB488 million and RMB742 million (about US$120M) in revenue in 2013, 2014 and 2015, respectively. It hasn’t turned a profit.

Revenue sources include in-app advertising and hardware sales. 60%, 88%, 90% and 95% of the total revenues were from hardware sales in 2013, 2014, 2015 and the first half of 2016, respectively.

Meipai began enabling live stream viewers to buy virtual gifts to reward content contributors earlier this year. Meitu also plans to add a social shopping platform to leverage the fashion influencers on its platform in the first half of 2017.

Mobile Video App Developer Yixia Technology Announces US$500M Series E Funding

image credit:
image credit:

Yixia Technology announces US$500 million in Series E round of funding from a group of investors including Sina Weibo, which owns the leading Twitter-like service in China, and Wepiao, the Tencent-backed e-ticketing and film distribution company. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The product portfolio of Yixia Technology includes short video sharing app Miaopai, live video broadcasting app Yizhibo, lip-sync app Xiaokaxiu, and a couple of video-related tools. Its strategic investor Sina Weibo has integrated the live video streaming service, Yizhibo, and has been promoting the other two mobile services to Weibo users.

Here’s an article I wrote a couple of months ago about Yixia Technology and China’s mobile video clip sharing market based on an interview with Liu Xinzheng, senior vice president of Yixia Technology.

Momo Q316 Revenues More than Triple, Driven by Live Video Streaming

Source: Momo Inc.(Click to enlarge)
Source: Momo Inc.(Click to enlarge)

Location-based social networking app Momo reported a 319% year-over-year increase in revenue for the third quarter, mainly driven by growth in user-generated video streaming revenues.

Virtual gift sales during live video streams increased 188% quarter over quarter, accounting for 69% of Momo’s total revenue in the quarter.

Paying users for the live streaming service doubled quarter over quarter. Average revenue per paying user (ARPU) was about US$48.

More than 10,000 paying users spent an average of RMB5000 (about US$740) monthly, according to CEO Tang Yan. More than 40% of broadcasters made RMB30,000 (roughly US$4400) or more monthly.

Source: Momo Inc. (Click to enlarge)
Source: Momo Inc. (Click to enlarge)

Hani, the separate app for live video streaming launched by Momo in March 2016, has reached one million monthly active users, according to management.

Cost and expenses increased 199% due to increases in revenue sharing with live video broadcasters, fees to payment service providers, bandwidth costs as well as share-based compensation expenses.

Momo 7.0, a major update released in the last August, added Moments, a short video capturing and sharing service where virtual gift giving is also available. In October the app added audio and video communications capabilities provided by

Alibaba’s Finance Affiliate Invests in Thailand Fintech Company Ascend Money

Ant Financial, the fintech affiliate of Alibaba, announces plans to invest in Ascend Money, a Thailand-based fintech company that operates payments service TrueMoney and Ascend Nano for lending. Besides Thailand, Ascend Money also has presence in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia.

“Ascend Money targets two under-served groups, including digital consumers with its innovative mobile wallet application and the under-banked with its massive agent network. It currently provides payment services such as domestic and international remittance, bill payment, top up services, online and offline payments and payroll services. Future services will include lending, insurance and investment”, according to Ant Financial.

In 2015, Ant Financial and Alibaba invested in Indian fintech company, Paytm.

Alipay, the payment service of Ant Financial, had been available at over 80,000 retailers in some 70 foreign countries and regions as of September 2016, according to Ant Financial. The company’s global partners in payments include Concardis, Ingenico, Wirecard and Zapper in Europe, First Data and Verifone in North America, Paysbuy and Counter Services in Southeast Asia, Recruit in Japan and KICC and ICB in Korea.

The latest release of Apple’s App Store for China has added Alipay.

VC Investment in China Reached a Five-quarter Low in Q316 — KPMG Report

q316kpmgreportVenture capital investment in China reached a five-quarter low in Q3, according to the latest report on VC trends jointly issued by KPMG and CBInsights. The total amount invested decreased from US$5.7 billion to US$3.9 billion QoQ, although the total number of deals increased from 79 to 84.

It’s becoming more of a buyer’s market in China … Investment committees are asking deal teams to put personal funds into projects to ensure they have a real stake in a company’s success”, said Lyndon Fung, Partner, KPMG China.

Chinese VC investors are focusing on markets outside of China, taking advantage of government incentives. In particular, Chinese companies have recently acquired or invested in technology companies in Israel, Canada and the UK. Israel-based companies have been especially keen to work with tech VC funds in China in order to promote their technologies to the Chinese market for their mutual benefit”, said Irene Chu, Partner and Head of the High Growth Technology and Innovation Group, KPMG China, “in Asia, the next wave of innovation will be about building globally competitive companies.”

“Over the next few quarters, Asia-based VC investment is likely to remain focused on technology enablement – using technology to help improve service or product quality or to make them more accessible for individuals.”

“The healthcare sector is poised to be a big winner in this regard, both in terms of providing accessible primary healthcare and in terms of making processes like booking appointments and writing prescriptions easier for both doctors and patients, according to the report.”

“Investment in entertainment and media technologies is also expected to rise heading into 2017.”

2016 Letters to Shareholders from Alibaba CEO and Chairman

Jack Ma Letter

Daniel Zhang Letter

Some Updated Numbers,

  • Annual active buyers, who made at least one purchase in the previous year, have reached 430 million, up from 423 million as of March 2016.
  • Mobile revenues accounted for more than 75% of the total revenue in the most recent quarter.
  • More than 75% of users are 35 years old or younger.
  • Qianniu, the mobile app for merchants on Alibaba marketplaces, has more than 6 million daily business users.
  • Cainiao, the logistics network, processes more than 40 million packages a day on average.
  • Alibaba Cloud hosts 35% of total websites in China.

China Tech Newsletter – Sept. 28th-30th, 2016

Screenshots of Alipay Daowei
Screenshots of Alipay Daowei

The latest version of the Alipay app has added a new feature to enable users to find local services providers such as photographers, plumbers, and personal fitness coaches, near you.

Called Daowei it even let you borrow money or other things from people nearby.

Mavic Pro is DJI’s first fold-up drone. — A Review by Engadget

Xiaomi’s Mi 5s hides a fingerprint reader under its glass — Engadget