Chinese content-aggregation app Qutoutiao files for IPO
Qutoutiao Inc., a two-year-old Chinese content-aggregation app, filed for an U.S. initial public offering Friday afternoon. The company said it would seek $300 million by selling American depositary shares, though that number is typically a placeholder to determine fees and will be updated in later filings. Qutoutiao launched in June 2016 and claimed in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission to have 17.1 million users accessing the service daily and spending, on average, almost an hour — 55.6 minutes — on the app each day. The app, which translates to "fun headlines," brought in $108.5 million in the first half of 2018, almost all of it from advertising, which was more than the company collected in all of 2017, when it reported total revenue of $78.1 million. Losses also grew however, with Qutoutiao reporting a net loss of $77.7 million in the first half of this year after an annual net loss of $14.3 million in 2017. Qutoutiao would join a wave of Chinese mobile apps that have gone public on the U.S. markets in 2018, a list that includes iQiyi Inc.IQ, +1.38% Bilibili Inc.BILI, +1.33% and Pinduoduo Inc.PDD, -0.21% The company hopes to list its ADSs on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol QTT, and has enlisted Citigroup and Deutsche Bank Securities as underwriters.
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