Sina Weibo files for US IPO to raise as much as $500M
China-based microblogging and social media platform Sina Weibo has submitted documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for its planned initial public offering in the US to raise as much as $500 million, TechCrunch reported.
The IPO filings revealed that last year, Weibo posted revenues amounting to $188.3 million. However, like its US counterpart Twitter, it is still not returning profits because its net loss for 2013 was $38.1 million. Still, the company which had a workforce of 2,043 strong as of the end of last year posted amazing growth not only in China but abroad as well.
The company said in its IPO prospectus, "Since our inception four years ago, Weibo has amassed a large user base in China and in Chinese communities in more than 190 countries. In December 2013, Weibo had 129.1 million monthly active users, or MAUs, and 61.4 million average daily active users, or average DAUs, increasing from 96.7 million MAUs and 45.1 million average DAUs in December 2012, respectively, and 72.9 million MAUs and 25.2 million average DAUs in December 2011, respectively. A microcosm of Chinese society, Weibo has attracted a wide range of users, including ordinary people, celebrities and other public figures, as well as organizations such as media outlets, businesses, government agencies and charities."
Dubbed as the Chinese counterpart of social media sites Twitter and Facebook, Weibo was rolled out in August 2009 by Sina. The online media behemoth now holds a majority stake in the firm while a minority stake is held by Alibaba. According to a TechCrunch report dated April 29, 2013, Alibaba agreed to purchase preferred and ordinary shares in the micro-blogging platform worth $586 million which valued the firm at over $3 billion. The agreement paved the way for the creation of a "strategic alliance between Alibaba and Sina Weibo," that TechCrunch report said.