Couple days ago, insider from investment bank revealed that DuoWan’s IPO in USA is drawing near. The source also said that DuoWan tapped Citibank, Morgen Stanley and Deutsche Bank to be its co-lead underwriters. The claim seems to be true now as the company’s F-1 filing with SEC could be obtained here.
DuoWan was founded by Li Xueling, former chief editor of Netease in April 2005. Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi who is also a prominent angel investor in China’s venture capital world helped fund the China southern Guangzhou-based startup. DuoWan’s main business includes YY Yuyin (audio chatting tool), Duowan.com (gaming portal). YY Yuyin has reached 350m registered users and 10m concurrent users online. Its user coverage is expanding from online gaming sector (players use the tool to audio chat with peers) to the fields of music, e-commerce and even education. And also YY Yuyin’s mobile application has become the second popular communication software in China shortly after its launch.
DuoWan changed its company name to YY Inc. earlier this year, which might indicate it was getting ready for the IPO.
Sources claimed that Duowan broke even this year and Li has no urgent need to send the company public except that Tiger Fund, one of its investors urged the company to do so.
Some pointed out that there’s no indication of recovery in the U.S. IPO market in the second half of this year. With Qihoo 360’s penetration into mobile phones and web games, it is still not clear about the whole market and DuoWan’s potential rivals.
Yet we don’t think that’s a fair comparison between Duowan and Qihoo, it’s more like apple to orange comparison instead of apple to apple. Qihoo is far from dominant in mobile area, and most importantly, they don’t compete in the same sector. Qihoo is all about security while YY Inc., we can tell from its new company name that the company’s YY Yuyin is of great importance to it now even though the audio chatting service only generated nearly 30% of its revenue, lagging behind the about 50% contributed by its web game business.