TikTok owner Bytedance could now be worth up to $100 billion based on recent prices for the Chinese company’s shares on secondary markets, according to the Financial Times.

Why it matters: The new price tag for the Beijing-based tech startup is around one-third higher than its latest known valuation of $75 billion from 2018.

Details: Investors have given Bytedance an implied valuation of between $90 billion to $100 billion after the company’s shares were sold recently on secondary markets, the Financial Times reported Monday, citing several people familiar with the transactions.

  • The investors include New York-based investment firm Tiger Global which has purchased shares of Bytedance over the past 21 months “at a low multiple of future free cash flow,” said the report, citing a letter to investors.
  • Bytedance was valued at $75 billion in 2018 when investors including Softbank and General Atlantic injected around $3 billion into the company, according to Bloomberg.
  • The Financial Times report said Tiger Global started to buy Bytedance shares when the company was at about half that value and has added to the position through purchases in secondary markets.
  • Bytedance declined to comment on the transactions. The company has not confirmed this nor previous valuations.
  • Tiger Global said in the letter that it estimated Bytedance would grab 19% of China’s online advertising market this year and that the company captured about 4% of the market in 2017. Total digital ad spending in China is expected to reach $81 billion this year, according to market research firm eMarketer.

Context: The Financial Times reported in October that Bytedance was eyeing an initial public offering in Hong Kong in the first quarter of this year. The company denied the report at the time and said it had no immediate plans to go public.

  • Tiger Global’s investment portfolio in China includes online service platform Meituan-Dianping, e-commerce behemoth Alibaba, and ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing.

Wei Sheng

Writing about semiconductors and telecommunications.