(Yicai Global) Dec. 3 -- Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings headed up the latest USD3 billion funding round at short video platform operator Beijing Kuaishou Technology, which takes the startup's valuation to USD28.6 billion ahead of a rumored initial public offering.
Tencent will contribute USD2 billion to the round to remain Kuaishou's largest institutional shareholder with a nearly 20 percent stake, Beijing Business Daily reported. The pair are still discussing the final terms and expect to conclude talks this month. Shenzhen-based Tencent injected USD400 million into the firm in April last year, when Kuaishou was worth close to USD20 billion.
Kuaishou is planning to go public in the United States next year as it looks to fight off competition from ByteDance, which runs rival app TikTok, Bloomberg News reported in September, citing several people familiar with the matter and one who also revealed information about the latest funding round.
Live video streaming has become a rampantly popular way for Chinese e-commerce merchants to bolster sales, and in November Kuaishou lured in a million sellers and 100 million users to its second-ever shopping festival. Among the merchants, 'Selling King' Sima sold more than 42.5 million Whoo makeup products in just five minutes, and made CNY400 million (USD57 million) in sales over the two days.
Best known for its app Kuaishou, the firm also secured funds from Boyu Capital, Temasek, Sequoia Capital and Yunfeng Capital, with the latter's investment marking the first time Alibaba founder Jack Ma has pumped money into the company. Alibaba also teamed up with Kuaishou for this year's Singles' Day shopping festival in a bid to drive up sales.
Editor: James Boynton