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.