Tencent-backed search engine Sogou targets $585m in US IPO

Xiaochuan Wang, chief executive officer of Sogou Inc., speaks during the Rise conference in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. Photographer: Anthony Kwan/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sogou Inc., the Chinese search engine backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., aims to raise as much as $585 million in a U.S. initial public offering.

The company, born from the Chinese media company Sohu.com Inc., is marketing 45 million American depositary shares for $11 to $13 apiece, according to a filing Friday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Sogou said it intends to use the proceeds for research and development and sales and marketing.

Sogou is the default search engine in Chinese tech giant Tencent’s Mobile QQ browser and qq.com, according to the filing. Sogou said it’s exploring additional ways to collaborate with Tencent.

Tencent is also Sogou’s largest shareholder. It has a 44 percent stake before the offering, while Sohu holds 38 percent.

Sogou’s filing follows a rush of cross-border listings that may make October the biggest month of the year for U.S. IPOs, with trans-Pacific share sales at a level not seen since Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s record $25 billion IPO in September 2014. Chinese online lender Qudian Inc. and China’s Rise Education Cayman Ltd., along with Singapore-based Sea Ltd., the owner of the Garena gaming platform, went public in the past two weeks, selling a combined total of $2.1 billion in new shares.

Beijing-based Sogou had net income of $56 million on total revenue of $660 million in 2016, according to its filing. The company posted net income of almost $100 million on revenue of $592 million the previous year.

JPMorgan Chase & Co., Credit Suisse Group AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and China International Capital Corp. are leading the offering. The company intends to apply to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SOGO.

Also Read:

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Bloomberg

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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.