ByteDance valuation has risen at least a third to more than $100 billion in recent private share transactions, people familiar with the matter said, reflecting expectations the owner of video phenomenon TikTok will keep pulling in advertisers.
Stock in the world’s most valuable start-up has changed hands recently at a price that suggests its value has risen more than 33 per cent from about $75 billion during a major round of funding two years ago, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter isn’t public. Some trades recently valued the Chinese company between $105 billion and $110 billion on the secondary markets, some of people said. It has also traded as high as $140 billion, one person said.
The trades are private transactions and may not fully reflect broader investor expectations. Stock in the secondary market is usually valued at a discount to primary shares since it’s less liquid and there are fewer financial details on company performance available to investors.
“The trading of ByteDance is reflective of the global wave of consumers who agree that ByteDance can displace Facebook as the leading social network,” said Andrea Walne, a partner at Manhattan Venture Partners who follows the secondary markets.
In the past decade, Bytedance is surpassed only by Alibaba Group Holding and Ant Financial Services Group as companies that have traded at a higher premium in the secondary market, she added.
ByteDance has grown into a potent online force propelled in part by a TikTok short video platform that’s taken US teenagers by storm.
Investors are keen to grab a slice of a company that draws some 1.5 billion monthly active users to a family of apps that includes Douyin, TikTok’s Chinese twin, as well as news service Toutiao. That’s despite American lawmakers raising privacy and censorship concerns about its operation.
This week, it poached Walt Disney Co. streaming czar Kevin Mayer to become chief executive officer of TikTok.