China Social App Soul Files Confidentially for U.S. IPO
(Bloomberg) -- The company behind Chinese social networking platform Soul App has confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. that could take place as soon as this year, according to people familiar with the matter.
Shanghai Renyimen Technology Ltd. could raise about $300 million from the listing, though the fundraising target has yet to be finalized, the people said. The app company is working with advisers including China International Capital Corp. one of the people said, asking not to be named because the matter is private. The company’s valuation is more than $1 billion before the IPO, another person said.
Deliberations are at an early stage and there is no guarantee that the company will proceed with its listing plan, the people said. A representative for Soul declined to comment. A representative for CICC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Launched in 2016, Soul matches like-minded users through artificial intelligence-enabled recommendations, according to its website. After answering a quiz that places them in one of five categories, users can chat by text and voice, as well as participate in group chats and post to a public forum.
The app has more than 100 million users in China, with more than 30 million monthly active users, according to a press release. It is also available in South Korea, Japan and North America. Soul counts GGV Capital and 5Y Capital among its backers.
Social media platforms in China face persistent regulatory headwinds. In 2019 Soul was one of several social apps incorporating audio that were suspended by the Cyberspace Administration of China, which blamed the apps for distributing pornographic content.
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