Tencent-Backed Start-Up Preps For World’s Biggest Tech IPO Since Uber

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Kuaishou Technology, the main rival to ByteDance in China, is seeking to raise as much as $5.4 billion in Hong Kong in what would be the world’s biggest internet initial public offering since Uber Technologies Inc.

The short video startup, backed by Tencent Holdings, is selling 365 million shares at HK$105 to HK$115 each, according to terms of the deal obtained by Bloomberg News. The company will start taking investor orders from Monday through January 29 and is slated to list on February 5.

Kuaishou is attempting the world’s biggest internet IPO since Uber’s $8.1 billion U.S. share sale in May 2019, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The Chinese startup’s IPO will also give another boost to Hong Kong’s already-hot capital market and could become Asia’s largest since Budweiser Brewing Co. APAC’s $5.8 billion float almost two years ago.

Kuaishou, which means “fast hand” in Chinese, is one of China’s biggest internet success stories of the past decade, part of a generation of startups that thrived with backing from Tencent. Along with TikTok parent ByteDance, the outfit co-created by Su Hua in 2013 pioneered the live streaming and bite-sized video format that’s since been adopted around the world by the likes of Facebook Inc. Kuaishou’s imminent debut could test investor appetite for its far larger rival, which was last valued at $180 billion.

The offering of Kuaishou has attracted 10 cornerstone investors, who agreed to subscribe for $2.45 billion of stock, based on the mid-point of the marketed range. The lineup includes The Capital Group, Temasek Holdings Pte, GIC Pte, BlackRock Inc. and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the terms show, confirming an earlier Bloomberg News report. The cornerstone investors have agreed to hold stock for six months in exchange for early, guaranteed allocation.

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The valuation of Kuaishou could more than double after its Hong Kong IPO. A top-end pricing will value the Chinese firm at $60.9 billion, up from the $28.6 billion it achieved in a funding round last year, according to Pitchbook. Even at the low-end of range, Kuaishou will still be valued at $55.6 billion.