On March 29, Ximalaya FM updated its prospectus filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in preparation for an IPO to secure financial backing amid fierce audio industry competition
Ximalaya (Chinese: 喜马拉雅), one of China’s largest online podcast and audio platforms, has updated its prospectus in line with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange’s listing rules to renew data and information.
The updated prospectus reveals that Ximalaya's 2021 revenue was CNY 5.86 billion (USD 921 million), up 43.7% YoY. Its net loss expanded 77.16% from the same period the previous year to CNY 5.106 billion.
The Shanghai-based firm also recorded an adjusted loss of CNY 759 million, 40.76% higher than in 2020. Gross margin increased from 49.1% in 2020 to 54.0% in 2021, while 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 a US listing.
But the firm withdrew the application and on September 13 of the same year, it filed a prospectus instead with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for a public offering. The prospectus had become invalid because the audit figures required under the listing rules expired.
According to Ximalaya’s updated prospectus, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and CICC are its joint 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 broadcasts being the three major revenue streams, has an average 268 million monthly active users (MAU).
In 2021, with a 28% market share, Ximalaya ranked first among Chinese online audio apps in terms of average MAU.
Ximalaya stated in the prospectus that it plans to turn profitable mainly through efforts to expand user base, increase user activity, diversify means of monetization and enhance operational advantages.
Ximalaya’s domestic competitors include Lizhi FM (Chinese: 荔枝FM) and Qingting FM (蜻蜓FM).