Tencent-backed "Fun Headlines" News App Qu Toutiao Targets $300 Million U.S. IPO
Qu Toutiao, a mobile-only service, sends its users custom news based on search prompts and selected topics of interest.
Chinese news aggregator application Qu Toutiao, translated as "Fun Headlines," plans to raise up to $300 million in New York, with the roadshow starting as early as this month, according to Reuters citing sources.
If successful in its initial public offering plans, the Shanghai-based company, launched less than two years ago, would double its valuation to $3 billion.
In March, Tencent Holdings Ltd. led a pre-IPO investment of more than $100 million in the startup, raising its valuation to between $1.3 billion to $1.5 billion. In addition, rumors circulate on Chinese media saying that the tech giant has also made an investment in the app last year.
Qu Toutiao, which operates as a mobile-only service, sends customized news feed to users based on their search results and selected topics of interest. The app spreads content from different online sources and media partners. including the People's Daily news agency, Beijing Times, and Hexun.com. It then repackages the articles into customized newsfeeds based on users' past reading patterns and artificial intelligence.
The app is particularly popular among residents of third- and fourth-tier cities in China, according to its website. In January, it boasted a user base of 32.9 million unique devices, which would place it 128th among all mobile apps available in the country, according to a report from iResearch.