China: Audio streaming platform Ximalaya snags $580m ahead of IPO

A commuter uses a mobile phone while wearing headphones at Central Station in Sydney, Australia, on Tuesday, June 9, 2015. Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg

Chinese audio streaming platform Ximalaya FM has closed an RMB4 billion ($580 million) financing round from investors including Tencent, Goldman Sachs, and General Atlantic, according to a local media report by Zhaozhidao.

According to a report by Yicai Global, Ximalaya has earlier completed six financing rounds.

The latest funding round sees Ximalaya’s valuation go up to RMB24 billion ($3.48 billion) ahead of a rumoured IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the second half of 2019. The company has denied media reports about its listing plans.

Founded in 2012, Ximalaya boasts more than 470 million total listeners and a 73 per cent market share.

The emergence of Ximalaya has spurred the internet radio wave in China, with competitors such as Lychee FM, Kaola FM and QingTing FM closing large financing rounds from prominent investors.

Lychee FM had raised a $50-million Series D round this January while Kaola FM had closed a Series A round early this year. Last September, QingTing FM completed a nearly RMB1 billion ($150 million) funding round led by We Capital and Baidu, marking the largest single round raised in the internet audio industry.

A report by The Paper said QingTing FM is also mulling to go public in two to three years’ time to go head-on against Ximalaya, despite not being profitable yet. The platform has more than 300 million users, including 12 million daily active users, with 3,000 radio broadcasts across China and more than 12 million hours of podcasts.

Also Read:

Goodwater, SoftBank back $17m round for internet radio app Spoon Radio

China Dealbook: Yuanyu Radio, Baibu, NED+AR secure funding

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.