Today, the giant Chinese media startup Bytedance, which is behind one of the most popular news app Toutiao, is close to acquiring buzzy teen social video app Musical.ly for about $800 million to $1 billion, according to media sources like Bloomberg and Tech in Asia, etc..
And in a statement this morning, Bytedance vowed to boost Musical.ly with its content-driven AI and help expand the social network’s “reach in China and around Asia.”
Musical.ly was founded by Louis Yang and Alex Zhu, who was described today by Bytedance with its AI know-how as the “ideal partner”, in Shanghai 3 years ago, quickly exploded in popularity among 60 million teens in North America, and has grown to 200 million users making and watching a mishmash of homemade music and comic videos around the world.
A survey reported by Business Insider said that one-sixth of youngsters aged 13 to 19 said Musical.ly is the app “they were most excited about and doubted adults would know about”.
The ambitious Chinese media startup Bytedance, Started by Zhang Yiming, is said to be worth $20 billion as it raises more funding, on par with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, and it has 120 million readers each day across China. In September 2016, Bytedance added an app called Douyin which is also for teen social video, now focused on China market, its Southeast Asian version Tik Tok was online in August this year.
Last July, Musical.ly completed $ 130 million of financing from Qiming Venture Partners, GX Capital and GGV Capital. However, under the pressure and impact of Douyin and Facebook, the pace of development of Musical.ly has gradually slowed down in China market.
It is reported that after this transaction, Douyin will be merged with Musical.ly, while both sides will maintain the brand independence.
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