over 3 years ago • 2 mins
ByteDance – the parent company of viral video app TikTok – isn’t just the world’s most valuable startup: a report on Wednesday showed it’s also wildly profitable 💰
Everyone’s favorite venue for videos of dancing teddies and clothes-wearing dogs more than doubled its revenue to $17 billion in 2019, while also recording a profit of $3 billion 🕺 That’s roughly $2 profit for each of its 1.5 billion monthly users – and we’re talking good old-fashioned net income, not the creative metrics some startups have been known to use.
Those numbers put Beijing-based Bytedance in social’s big leagues, beating YouTube’s $15 billion revenue and closing in on Instagram’s $20 billion haul. And in even more promising signs, the figures are from before COVID lockdown – which has inspired a whole new cohort of teens, celebrities, and grandparents to film their own #wipedownchallenge vids.
TikTok is the first Chinese-built app to break out among western users: WeChat and Weibo have hundreds of millions of domestic users, sure, but they’ve struggled elsewhere. ByteDance has enjoyed success in China for years with news service Toutiao and Douyin – essentially TikTok in Chinese – but it wasn’t until its 2017 purchase of Musical.ly that the company finally reached a global audience 🌎 Analysts now reckon Bytedance would be valued at up to $180 billion if it sold shares in an initial public offering. It’s probably not in any rush, mind you: the company’s reportedly sitting on $6 billion in cash.
As people spend more time at home these days, a new economy – the kind that suits TikTok to a, er, T – is emerging 🍕 Comfort foods are doing well, with Papa John’s and Domino’s Pizza both reporting increased sales this week, while TV-streaming is booming. And demand for consumers’ downtime is only going to get fiercer: AT&T is the latest to try its luck with the launch of HBO Max on Wednesday.
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