HONG KONG – (ACN Newswire) – YY Inc. (NASDAQ: YY) (“YY” or the “Company”), a leading live streaming social media platform in China, today announced its recent acquisition of the remaining approximately 68.3% of all the issued and outstanding shares of Bigo Inc (“Bigo”) from the other shareholders of Bigo, including Mr. David Xueling Li, Chairman and acting CEO of YY, for an aggregate purchase price of US$1,452,778,383, comprising of US$343,061,583 in cash, 38,326,579 Class B common shares of YY issued to Mr. Li and 313,888,496 Class A common shares of YY issued to Mr. Li and other selling shareholders of Bigo. Prior to the transaction, the Company owned approximately 31.7% of all the issued and outstanding shares of Bigo on a fully diluted and as-converted basis.
Bigo is a fast-growing global tech company. Headquartered in Singapore, Bigo owns BIGO LIVE, a leading global live streaming platform excluding China, LIKE, a leading short form video social platform worldwide, and other social apps. Bigo has created a video-based online community for global young generation users. It has established footprints with a strong presence in South-Eastern Asia, Southern Asia, the Middle East and America, paving the way for further global expansion.
Mr. David Xueling Li, Chairman and acting Chief Executive Officer of YY, stated, “We are very excited to announce the completion of the acquisition of Bigo. It is an important milestone for YY group which demonstrated our confidence and commitment to the globalization strategy. Bigo has delivered both rapid user growth and significant monetization progress in 2018, making it one of the fastest growing internet companies worldwide. While BIGO LIVE is consolidating its leadership in entertainment live streaming market outside China, LIKE also experiences tremendous user growth and user time spent increase in short form video market. The combination of YY’s and Bigo’s unparalleled businesses and services in both China and overseas will enable us to create enhanced live streaming content, expand our global footprint, and offer world-class user experiences for our global user community. As a result, we will be well positioned to become a world leading video-based social media platform.”
Bigo Technology’s live streaming app BIGO LIVE, since its launch in March 2016, took Asia by storm and topped the download charts of Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore by one month. Sensor Tower, app ranking data analytics company, puts Bigo Live as China’s most profitable video platform with the highest revenue in the global market. Its short form video social platform, LIKE, made its debut to international audience in July 2017. It features magical effects for video editing and socializing and has now covered more than 200 nations and regions. LIKE has won the 2017 Google Play awards for the best entertainment, the best social media and the most popular app. Since September 2018 when LIKE started to explore the Indian market, its rank on the download chart rose to the second place.
Bigo announced to penetrate further globally using these funds, in particular the Indian, the Middle East and the U.S. markets. It plans to invest over US$500 million into developing regional hubs in the following 3 years. To begin with, Bigo will invest US$100 million for the first three years in India to expand its business. It aims to bring the total number of offices to 20 regional offices and four regional centers by the end of 2019.
Ping An Overseas Holdings and its subsidiaries (“Ping An Overseas Holdigns”) was the exclusive investor in Bigo’s Series C round funding and continued to participate in its Series D round. In January 2017, Bigo closed the Series C round of funding with an exclusive investment from Ping An Overseas Holdings of 80 million US dollars. In June 2018, YY announced investment in Bigo’s Series D round funding which was followed by the personal funds of YY’s founder, David Li. YY’s investment in the Series D round is in total valued at US$365 million. Ping An Overseas Holdings, as an existing shareholder, also invested US$20 million to support Bigo’s global business development.
Ping An Overseas Holdings sees a bright prospect in live entertainment, and has invested in two fast-growing live streaming platforms under YY, HUYA and Bigo. In May 2017, HUYA closed the Series A round funding led by Ping An Overseas Holdings, and successfully made its debut in New York Stock Exchange one year after, making it the first among Chinese game casting community. HUYA is, according to latest estimate, valued at US$5 billion.
Mr. Kui Kaipin, Assistant General Manager, Head of Ping An Overseas Holdings Private Equity and a former board member of Bigo comments, “Since the investment by Ping An in 2017, Bigo enjoyed rapid development and has expanded its business to live streaming, video sharing media and voice-based social network. Bigo is a benchmark for this industry. This round of takeover enables Bigo and YY to utilize their respective advantages at home and abroad. As a top live streaming company, YY will be able to introduce its business patterns to the world with its great creativity and vitality. We firmly believe in the continuous success of YY in a larger market and the leadership of Mr. Li. We are optimistic about YY gaining global users and profits as a leading live streaming platform and social network server. Ping An Overseas Holdings has become an important investor in Bigo and HUYA since 2017, and will continue to support leading Chinese technology companies to go global.”