Weibo, the Twitter-like Chinese social network that is profitable unlike Twitter, is raising $700 million as it looks for acquisitions to continue the rocket ship growth its business has seen in 2017.
The Beijing-based company, which is listed on the NASDAQ with a current market cap of $21 billion, announced today it will offer up to $700 million in convertible senior notes in order to finance “working capital needs and potential acquisitions of complementary businesses.”
Any acquisitions are likely to be in China and could well focus on video and entertainment, where Weibo is finding serious traction, and ad tech, where it has made recent investments.
Beyond a valuation which is nearly double that of Twitter, which has struggled to get to anything close to profitability, the Chinese service has gained widespread attention for having a larger userbase than its U.S. peer and very impressive financials, too.
Weibo claims 159 million daily users — and 361 million monthly — and, according to unaudited figures released this week, its most recent quarterly profit reached a record $101.1 million up from a then-record $73.5 million in the previous quarter. It’s worth noting that the previous quarter had seen profits increase by 184 percent year-on-year so there’s plenty of momentum right now.
The company has credited its surging video and mobile ads business for the revenue jumps, with the Weibo platform rapidly standing out as a platform for entertainment and celebrity news for young generations in China.
Weibo’s biggest backers are parent firm Sina (media) and e-commerce giant Alibaba, both of which help funnel advertising revenue to the business. Together the two investors own more than 70 percent of Weibo.