Chinese Flirt App Momo Planning IPO


The Chinese chat app Momo is planning a US IPO, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The maker of the flirting app, Beijing Momo Technology Co, are apparently working with Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse, for a proposed listing later this year.

Launched in September 2011, the app is a location-based messaging service that lets you chat to people in your vicinity.

Users can also share photos, audio and their location on a Facebook-style timeline — as well as set up group chats.

In February, Momo’s CEO Tang Yan said they had reached 100m users.

In a post on Zhihu, he said they had around 40m monthly users and 15m daily users.

They monetise through in-app purchase of stickers and games — the latest of which was downloaded 1.4m times and made Momo around $2m. 

Momo was valued at $2bn in a private fundraising, according to people close to the deal.

In August 2013 the app received $40m in Series B funding, a large portion of which was from Alibaba, who are planning their own IPO later this year.

Momo would follow Weibo – a Chinese Twitter-style messaging platform – in going public, who Alibaba also invest in.

The chat and dating app was dubbed “the magical tool to getting laid”, in a widely circulated viral video by Chinese comedian Mike Sui.

Momo was recently singled out by the Chinese government, after a crackdown on online porn.

China’s state news agency, Xinhua, called the app “hormone-filled”, and said it was rife with prostitutes.

In a recent Weibo post, CEO Tang Yan said they had put in place the “most stringent” measures to counter porn and prostitution on the app.

Simon Edmunds

Simon is the former editor of Global Dating Insights. Born in Newcastle, he has an English degree from Queen Mary, London and after working for the NHS, trained as a journalist with the Press Association. Passionate about music, journalism and Newcastle United.

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