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.