Vietnamese media firm Yeah1 acquires US-based ScaleLab for $20m

Yeah1, the Vietnamese media firm that recently scored the country’s first tech IPO in a decade, has acquired 100 per cent of US-based YouTube multi-channel network ScaleLab for $20 million, per a statement.

In a note to shareholders dated January 8, Yeah1 said it has opened a term deposit account worth VND274.95 billion (nearly $12 million) to guarantee a loan of $10 million to finance the transaction.

ScaleLab is a network of 1,750 channels for YouTube influencers who collectively have more than 400 million subscribers and 3 billion monthly views. It recorded 2017 revenues of $27.2 million, according to Inc. magazine.

ScaleLab also creates global influencer campaigns for companies such as Proctor & Gamble, Victoria’s Secret, Disney Pixar, mobile gaming brand Cheetah Mobile, and Kate Somerville, among others. It was selected as America’s fastest growing media company in 2018 by Inc.

Upon completion of the deal, Yeah1 said it will have over 3,000 YouTube channels, 610 million subscribers and 6.9 billion views per month.

Vietnam’s Yeah1 was listed in June 2018 at a valuation of $400 million. Its IPO became a major event in the local startup ecosystem, given that a rare number of tech firms have gone public.

The company was earlier backed by DFJ-VinaCapital. Following the IPO, Australia’s Macquarie Bank invested in Yeah1 to become a major shareholder.

Over the past three years, Vietnamese media companies have attracted growing investor interest. Turner Asia Pacific acquired a significant minority stake in POPS Worldwide in 2017, one year after the Vietnamese company completed a Series B round.

Other players that have attracted overseas investments include METUB (backed by WebTVAsia) and Big Cat Entertainment (backed by Asia Innovations Group).

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