Live-stream Platform DouYu Ends Flat in Trading Debut
COVID-19 and China
Image credit: Douyu Wechat account

A few hours ago, DouYu (斗鱼), one of the biggest video-game live-stream platforms in China, closed its first trading day on Nasdaq. Its shares returned to USD 11.50, at which they were priced in the initial public offering, after a dip to USD 11.02.

In its IPO, DouYu sold in total over 67,000,000 shares and raised an amount of USD 775 million, boosting the market capitalization of the company to USD 3.73 billion. The shares were trading under the symbol DOYU.

Yet this is not satisfying for the company. According to the prospectus of DouYu, the company intended to raise as much as USD 859 million to over USD 1 billion, and hopefully the market value could reach at most USD 454.5 million. Its competitor Huya (虎牙), which was listed on NYSE last year, is now valued at USD 5.29 billion.

The way to Nasdaq was full of twists and turns for DouYu. Just after Huya’s IPO, Douyu announced its IPO plan, but not until this April had the company submitted its prospectus, according to which DouYu was still a loss-making company. In July, another prospectus came out, revealing the operating data of the platform in Q1 2019. Eventually, the net profit became positive just before its IPO.

According to iResearch, in Q1 2019, the MAU of DouYu was 159.2 million while the one of Huya was 123.8 million. However, the profitability of Huya is much better than that of Douyu. Huya earned CNY 63 million as net profit in Q1 2019, which was more than three times as much as that of DouYu.

Apart from Huya, DouYu has to confront now a new enemy, Kuaishou (快手). Recently, the short-video platform revealed the DAU of its game sector was up to 56 million in Q1 2019, and that the DAU of game live-stream is over 35 million. In the meantime, the DAU of DouYu and Huya are respectively 15 million and 11 million.

After all, the boss behind the three platforms, Tencent, may be the biggest winner. The Chinese game behemoth is the biggest shareholder of DouYu, Kuaishou and the second-biggest shareholder of Huya.

DouYu was initially a live-stream department in Acfun, a Chinese ACGN video-sharing website. The Wuhan-based company has been invested by Sequoia China, Tencent Holdings, CMBI and so on. Backed by Tencent, the platform focused on video-games and e-sports.

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