TikTok owner ByteDance seeking another $2bn investment in firm

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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China-based ByteDance, the parent organization behind popular micro-video sharing platform TikTok is reportedly looking to raise as much as $2 billion in a new funding round which will value the firm at a massive $180 billion. 

ByteDance which also runs a TikTok lookalike service called Douyin in China is expected to reach out to its existing portfolio of investors including General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital for this infusion.

If the new valuation is to be accepted, it reveals the meteoric growth the company has achieved, almost doubling its valuation over the last several months as a Financial Times report in March valued the company at just about $90-$100 billion.

Reports suggest that the current round of investment will not be a pre-IPO round as the firm is still undecided whether it should separately list Douyin as another entity, or include it in a larger IPO which would include a few of its Chinese subsidiaries including Douyin and news aggregator Jinri Toutiao, in Hong Kong or Shanghai.

The move if it materializes is expected to even more complicate TikTok’s US future as the app has been banned by several nations citing its lack of credibility. One of its biggest markets, India placed a ban on the app after the country’s escalating tensions with China. The USA has also been preparing to ban TikTok citing national security issues.

The firm has been speaking to Walmart and Oracle in the US to float a new entity, TikTok Global to independently operate its American operations.