Soulgate Inc., the developer of the social media app Soul, has submitted another listing application to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on March 27. The joint sponsors for this application are BofA Securities and China International Capital Corporation.
Soulgate initially intended to become publicly traded in the United States, but abandoned this plan in June 2022. Subsequently, on June 30 of that year, it applied to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The application lapsed earlier this year. According to the prospectus, Soulgate achieved operating revenues of 498 million yuan ($72 million), 1.281 billion yuan and 1.667 billion yuan respectively from 2020-2022, while experiencing losses of 579 million yuan, 1.324 billion yuan and 508 million yuan during the same period.
Launched in 2016, Soul is a social app that distinguishes itself from others with its innovative features such as virtual socializing, matching, and interest mapping. According to iResearch Consulting Group’s report, Soul is China’s first social networking platform where all users interact through virtual identities. As of 2022, the platform boasts nearly 30 million monthly active users (MAU) and approximately 9.55 million daily active users (DAU). In terms of usage time per user on Soul, it increased from an average of 45.3 minutes in 2021 to 46.4 minutes in 2022.
In 2022, Soul experienced a year-on-year increase in the proportion of monthly active users from Generation Z, rising from approximately 75% to over 78%. Zhang Lu, the founder of Soul, has expressed that their long-term objective since inception has been to alleviate people’s feelings of loneliness. This could be a significant factor contributing to why young users make up a substantial portion of all Soul users.
According to Soul’s data, 53.9% of its DAUs engage in one-on-one conversations with others on a daily basis. Among those who send messages, the average number of messages sent per person is 66.9 per day. In 2022 alone, Soul users created more than 620 million new posts and had a daily reply rate exceeding 87%.
Soulgate is committed to improving users’ social experience by investing in technology. The company has already introduced an intelligent recommendation system that uses data and algorithms to enhance the efficiency and quality of relationship building. In the first half of 2022, it launched the NAWA engine, which offers image processing and graphic rendering capabilities at a low cost. This feature enables users to create personalized images and 2D/3D social scenes easily. Additionally, Soul provides a platform for avatar creators to sell their original works while receiving a share of the profits.
In 2023, AIGC will be a key focus for Soulgate. Since 2020, Soulgate has been conducting research and development on algorithms for intelligent dialogue. Currently, Soul possesses capabilities in various areas such as intelligent dialogue, image generation, and speech technology.