China's Meitu Said Seeking Valuation Above $3 Billion in Funding

  • Developer of selfie-editing app said to mull IPO this year
  • Meitu is backed by investors IDG, Qiming, Innovation Works

Meitu Inc. is raising about $200 million in a round of funding that targets a valuation of more than $3 billion for the developer of apps that retouch photos, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Xiamen, southern China-based company backed by IDG and Qiming Venture Partners is also planning an overseas initial public offering as soon as this year, one of the people said, requesting not to be named because the matter is private. The IPO may be held in Hong Kong, the person said.

Meitu’s applications, which help users edit and share selfies or self-taken photos, has 270 million monthly active users and is expanding into facial recognition and smartphones. It partnered with Foxconn Technology Group to expand in Southeast Asia and India and has targeted 5 million smartphone shipments for 2016, Meitu Chairman Mike Cai said in an interview last year.

The company’s apps have been installed on more than 900 million mobile devices and it develops one of the world’s most popular photo-editing apps, which allow users to touch up their appearance such as by lengthening and slimming their legs. It’s consistently topped photo and video app rankings on Apple Inc.’s App Store in China this
year, according to data provided by market researcher App Annie.

Meitu declined to comment in an e-mailed statement.

Meitu completed its third round of investment in 2014, reaching a cumulative amount of $360 million and a valuation of $2 billion.

Meitu has also attracted funding from Innovation Works, founded by Kai-Fu Lee, the former China head for Google Inc.

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