Chinese Audio Content Platform Lizhi Submits IPO Seeking $100 Million

Chinese audio content platform Lizhi has recently submitted its IPO prospectus to the SEC, and is seeking to raise funds in the region of $100 million.

Lizhi is widely recognized in China as a leading platform for interactive audio content including audiobooks and podcasts. The lead underwriters on the deal are Credit Suisse and Citigroup.

The Guangzhou-based company founded in 2013 generated $130 million in revenue in the 12 months ended June 30, 2019. Lizhi is looking to list on either NYSE or NASDAQ under the ticker symbol “LIZI”. Currently no pricing details have been disclosed.

Lizhi’s business model includes encouraging and curating large quantities of UGC (user generated content) to power their content library.

According to the iResearch report cited in the prospectus, Lizhi boasts China’s largest UGC content library, and leads the country in terms of MAUs for audio platforms. The platform’s content library is divided into 27 categories and 107 sub categories ranging from language learning, music stations and talk shows to parenting.

Demographically, Lizhi’s users are mostly young people. According to the prospectus, about 60% of users were born between 1990 and 2000.

Lizhi was also the only online audio content platform included in the “Top 100 Chinese Internet Companies in 2019” by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the China Internet Association.

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To provide users with targeted content, Lizhi leverages their competency in AI recommendation algorithms to push content. They have completely abandoned editorial based recommendations in favor of the algorithm driven ones that have been successful on other Chinese internet content platforms like ByteDance’s Toutiao and Douyin.

Lizhi recently announced a cooperation with Chinese internet company Baidu on IoT offerings, as Lizhi aims to integrate their content into the internet giant’s increasingly popular XiaoDu smart speakers.