Tencent-Backed Fashion Site Mogu Halves IPO Valuation Goal

(Bloomberg) -- Mogu Inc., a Chinese startup selling fashion and cosmetics online, is targeting a reduced valuation of $2 billion in its U.S. initial public offering amid a market rout that has hit demand for tech stocks, people familiar with the matter said.

More volatility could hit its ability to achieve the goal and Mogu is evaluating conditions, the people said, asking not to be identified because the details are private. The new target is about half of what it wanted in April, two of the people said. The Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed company filed for an IPO earlier this month with an offering size of $200 million, a placeholder amount used to calculate fees that is likely to change.

Mogu is pressing ahead even though the IPO could mark a significant discount from the $3 billion the company said it was valued at when rivals Meilishuo and Mogujie merged in 2016. The company boasts 62.6 million monthly active users on mobile and generated 16.3 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) in transactions in the year ended September, according to its filing.

Some of the highest-profile Chinese tech companies that’ve listed this year have dropped below their debut price: internet services giant Meituan Dianping and smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. are both down more than a fifth since listing in Hong Kong.

Mogu declined to comment. Mogu hasn’t finalized the terms of its planned IPO and details, including valuation, could change.

The IPO would mark the latest in a string of debuts this year by companies backed or controlled by Tencent, a serial investor in China’s tech scene. The more prominent among those included Meituan Dianping in Hong Kong and electric-vehicle maker NIO Inc. in New York.

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