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Chinese photo-sharing app Kuaishou planning U.S. IPO later this year

Kuaishou, a hot photo-sharing application in China, is planning to go public in the U.S. later this year.

The app has more than 40 million daily active users against 100 million monthly active users. It was most recently valued at around $3 billion. The app is in some ways similar to Instagram, with photos layered in a grid on the main page of the app. It’s available in the U.S. as the app Kwai. Naturally, it’s not that big in the U.S., but it’s huge in China.

The IPO is targeted for the back half of the year. Investors have been buzzing about Kuaishou for some time. The company had taken money from Sequoia and has risen to a valuation around $3 billion. DST, Baidu and DCM are also investors. With mobile photo- and video-centric communications apps being one of the most attractive companies for investors right now. Kuaishou seems like a natural candidate for investor interest. Kuaishou users can buy “coins” for the app, giving it another way to monetize.

Hitting $3 billion with those investors isn’t necessarily that outlandish. Snapchat, with 150 million DAUs, is expected to go public at a valuation of more than $20 billion. Marco Polo, another new and fast-growing video walkie-talkie app in the U.S., has also hit a reported $100 million valuation as investors have picked up on its rapid growth and thrown some money into it.

Kuaishou currently has the luxury of not having to compete with Facebook and Instagram in China, which has clearly given it a lot of breathing room to grow. It also doesn’t have to contend yet with Snapchat, which could give it the ability to grow into new similar features. While the engagement on the app — 40 million DAUs to 100 million MAUs — is high, it’s not quite at Facebook’s 66 percent overlap for DAUs and MAUs.

Source: TechCrunch (7 Feb 2017)

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