What happened: Livestreaming social media platform YY announced on Monday its full acquisition of Singapore-based Bigo. YY acquired in the transaction remaining Bigo shares for approximately $1.45 billion, including $343 million in cash and the balance in YY shares. Prior to this transaction, YY owned 31.7% of Bigo shares, and had been its largest shareholder since the company’s Series D in June. Bigo owns BIGO LIVE, a global live-streaming platform that excludes China, and LIKE, a short video social platform. YY CEO Xueling Li is also Bigo’s founder and CEO.
Why it’s important: The acquisition brings YY one step closer to realizing its goal of becoming “a world-leading video-based social media platform.” While YY faces an increasingly competitive landscape domestically, including its game-focused subsidiary Huya, the overseas market is notably less crowded. As the owner of one of the most popular live-streaming apps in overseas markets including southeast Asia, Bigo’s assets present synergistic opportunities for YY to boost growth and expand its overseas presence amid China’s increasingly stringent regulations and slowing macro conditions.