China's Toutiao buys teens social video app Musical.ly in latest expansion

Share

Beijing ByteDance Technology has bought teen social video app Musical.ly for around Dollars 800 million, Bloomberg reported, citing sources familiar with the deal. According to Bloomberg, the company is valued at more than $20 billion, and its flagship product, Jinri Toutiao ("Today's Headlines"), is a popular news and video aggregator with 120 million daily active users.

This week's deals come after Bytedance earlier this year acquired L.A. -based Flipagram, which lets users create short video stories from their photos, set to licensed music clips. Users can share, like and comment on the clips, which run between 15 seconds and a minute in length.

Musical.ly, founded in Shanghai by Louis Yang (楊陸育) and Alex Zhu (朱駿) in 2014, exploded in popularity among United States teens past year and has since expanded beyond its flagship app for creating and sharing personal music videos. Bytedance beat out viral video streaming service Kuaishou to get Musical.ly, the sources added. The app's cofounders, Alex Zhu and Louis Yang, will join Bytedance and will continue running Musical.ly as an independent platform. The lab's mission is to develop machine-learning algorithms for personalized content recommendations. The startup had raised $147 million to date from investors including GGV Capital, GX Capital, Qiming Venture Partners and Susquehanna International Group.

More news: China Pledges More US Soybean Imports

ByteDance is considered one of China's hottest startups and is notable for keeping its independence from the three big tech conglomerates in the market, Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba. The company recently bought aggregation platform News Republic from Cheetah Mobile, which is also an investor in Musical.ly, for United States dollars 86.6 million.

Additionally, Musical.ly will work with Bytedance to develop its presence in new markets including China, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia, where Bytedance already has a strong footprint.

ByteDance announced the deal Friday without disclosing the price. This summer, Reddit raised $200 million in new funding, giving it a valuation of $1.8 billion.

Share