Payments Innovation

Chinese Photo App Developer Strikes It Big With $1 Billion IPO

Reports indicate Meitu will test Hong Kong markets with planned offering later this year.

Selfies are serious business these days. According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Meitu, a Chinese photo-editing app, is planning an IPO on the Hong Kong exchange in an effort to raise up to $1 billion.

Meitu, Inc. filed an application last week for an initial public offering worth between $500 million and $1 billion, according to reports. The offering is expected to open in the fourth quarter, said a source familiar with the situation.

The company was most recently valued at roughly $3.8 billion after it completed a private fundraising round led by Keywise Capital Management Ltd. earlier this year and is seeking a valuation approaching $5 billion from the IPO.

Apps for everything from selfies to shopping have been attracting some big dollars, as can be seen in the latest news regarding software development profiled in the latest PYMNTS Developer Tracker.

The company was founded in 2008 by Chinese entrepreneur Cai Wensheng and features a range of apps available both in China and overseas. The apps allow users to edit photos before posting them on social media and are in use on more than 1 billion mobile devices, according to Meitu’s website.

Meitu will join a range of tech firms trading on the Hong Kong stock market. Tech companies represent 10 percent of those listed on the exchange, a roster that includes Tencent Holdings Ltd., Lenovo Group Ltd. And Kingsoft Corp.

Executives are said to have chosen to list the company on the exchange in order to raise the value of its shares. The company also preferred the Hong Kong market’s Chinese-language investment apps, according to WSJ.

Meitu’s debut on the exchange could have a big impact on not just the company itself but on the Hong Kong stock market at large. The offering is seen as a kind of test for the Hong Kong market, which is trying to persuade tech startups, like China’s $46 billion phone manufacturer Xiaomi Corp. and the ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing Technology Co., to list.

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About The Tracker

The Developer Tracker™, powered by Vantiv, provides the payments ecosystem with a view into how software developers are using new technologies to create innovative business opportunities and enable merchants to optimize the ways in which they engage with shoppers today. The developer community within the tracker is separated into three categories: Shopping and Payments, Operations and Marketing.


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