Chinese Startup Bytedance Acquires Musical.ly for $800 Million

Chinese Startup Bytedance Acquires Musical.ly for $800 Million

Chinese Startup Bytedance Acquires Musical.ly for $800 Million

Bytedance announced the deal without giving any financial details.

Toutiao aggregates news and videos from hundreds of media outlets and has become one of the world's largest news services over its five years. The app is one of the fastest growing mobile products in China - boasting 120 million daily active users in the country and on track to generate about $2.5 billion in revenue this year.

Now the Beijing-based company, with a valuation said to be in the neighborhood of $20 billion, is making bigger moves to crack into the world of mobile video, media and entertainment in the US and beyond. Founded three years ago, this social media app is popular with young people and generates over 60 million monthly active users, reaching to other countries such as the US and Europe as well.

In 2016, it rolled out a live-streaming app called Live.ly. Bytedance beat out rival bidders including Kuaishou, the viral video streaming service, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing a private matter. A significant global platform will be created in the massive user base in China and other key Asian markets where content creators and brand engage with newer markets.

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Musical.ly, which lets users take videos of themselves lip-synching to songs, launched in 2014.

Bytedance, which was recently valued at $20 billion, says that Musical.ly will remain a separate, independent business. "To achieve this, we need to constantly innovate to provide new and exciting video creation tools to our users, and we see AI as a critical factor in augmenting human creativity".

ByteDance's Toutiao app uses AI to analyse readers' habits and send them customised content. The company recently bought aggregation platform News Republic from Cheetah Mobile, which is also an investor in Musical.ly, for United States dollars 86.6 million. This summer, Reddit raised $200 million in new funding, giving it a valuation of $1.8 billion.

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