Online Audio Titan Ximalaya Updates HKEX Prospectus

On March 29, Ximalaya FM updated its prospectus filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for an IPO to seek financial support amid fierce competition in the audio industry.

Ximalaya (Chinese: 喜马拉雅), one of China’s largest online podcast and audio platforms, has updated its prospectus in accordance with the listing rules of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange to renew data and information.

The updated prospectus reveals that Ximalaya’s 2021 revenue was CNY5.86 billion ($921 million), up 43.7% year-on-year. Its net loss increased 77.16 percent from the same period a year earlier to 5.106 billion yuan.

The Shanghai-based company also recorded an adjusted loss of CNY 759 million, 40.76% higher than in 2020. Gross margin fell from 49.1% in 2020 to 54.0% in 2021, while that the adjusted net profit margin was -13.0%, compared to -13.2. % in 2020.

On May 1, 2021, Ximalaya submitted an IPO application to the Securities and Exchange Commission for listing in the United States.

But the company withdrew the application and on September 13 of the same year, it instead filed a prospectus with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for a public offering. The prospectus had become invalid because the audit figures required by the listing rules had expired.

According to Ximalaya’s updated prospectus, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and CICC are its co-sponsors, and Tencent, China Literature, Baidu, Xiaomi, TAL and Sony Music are strategic investors.

Major financial investors include American General Atlantic Investment Group, Trust Capital, Goldman Sachs, Prosperity Investments and Genesis Partners Capital.

As a Chinese pioneer in live streaming, audiobooks and podcasts, Ximalaya, with paid subscriptions, advertisements and live streaming being the top three sources of revenue, has an average of 268 million monthly active users. (MAU).

In 2021, with a 28% market share, Ximalaya ranked first among Chinese online audio applications in terms of average MAU.

Ximalaya said in the prospectus that it plans to become profitable primarily through efforts to expand the user base, increase user activity, diversify monetization means, and improve operational benefits.

Ximalaya’s domestic competitors include Lizhi FM (Chinese: 荔枝FM) and Qingting FM (蜻蜓FM).

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