When you think startups, you think pioneering design and revolutionary tech. so would it surprise you to find out that the most valuable startup in the world is the owner of a karaoke app?
TikTok is a massively popular karaoke app where users from around the world can come and share short videos with music, stickers and other fun extras to liven them up. TikTok is owned by Bytedance, a Chinese startup that have just been crowned the most valuable startup in the world with a new $75 billion valuation putting them $3 billion ahead of Uber who are now second place in the startup value line-up.
A new investment round led by Softbank saw $3 billion put into Bytedance which led to their new position on top. TikTok isn’t their only asset, you’d imagine there would be more to a company than online karaoke to be worth more than the world’s new global taxi rank. Bytedance are also responsible for a massive news aggregator in China, Toutiao. Toutiao gets hundreds-of-millions of readers coming in daily and is likely their most valuable asset thanks to their gigantic audience.
TikTok’s value shouldn’t be underrepresented however as it’s massively popular with younger smartphone users, particularly in the west. It became even more popular in August when the ridiculously popular Musical.ly lip syncing app, which Bytedance acquired last November, was integrated into TikTok for one complete music/video experience.
Bytedance are doing incredibly well but as with most startups are still working towards making a profit despite earning $2.5 billion in revenue last year – according to Bloomberg. The company also isn’t without their controversy, having clashed with the Chinese government last year due to their strict censorship on media. Their Toutiao app was temporarily removed from app stores earlier this year, prompting Bytedance founder and CEO Zhang Yiming to apologise for “publishing a product that collided with core socialist values.”