Chinese tech media site 36Kr Holdings goes public on Nasdaq

Feng Dagang, CEO and co-chairman of 36Kr Holdings Inc., delivers a speech after the first trade of the company’s ADS in Nasdaq Stock Exchange in New York, the United States, on Nov. 8, 2019. 36Kr Holdings Inc., an online media publisher or China’s equivalent to TechCrunch in the United States, made public debut on the Nasdaq Global Market on Friday under the ticker symbol KRKR. (Xinhua/Wang Ying)

36Kr Holdings Inc., an online media publisher or China’s equivalent to TechCrunch in the United States, made public debut on the Nasdaq Global Market on Friday under the ticker symbol KRKR.

The company priced its initial public offering (IPO) of 1,380,000 American Depositary Shares (ADSs) at 14.5 U.S. dollars apiece, the low end of its previously announced price interval, 36Kr said in a statement on Friday.

Total deal size of the IPO would reach approximately 20 million dollars, assuming the underwriters do not exercise their over-allotment option to purchase additional ADSs.

Shares of 36Kr fell 9.93 percent to settle at 13.06 dollars around market close. Each ADS represents 25 Class A ordinary shares of the company.

The Beijing-based company has granted to the underwriters an option, exercisable within 30 days from the date of the final prospectus, to purchase up to an aggregate of 207,000 additional ADSs at the IPO price.

Often seen as the Chinese version of Silicon Valley’s TechCrunch, the media site rose to fame by providing various news contents about the tech industry and startups fundraising, which the firm later labeled as “high-quality New Economy-focused content” and the foundation of its business.

36Kr described “New Economy” as covering industries such as the internet, hardware and software technologies, consumer and retail, as well as finance.

Through leveraging traffic brought by such content, 36Kr has expanded its revenue portfolio by offering business services, including online advertising services, enterprise value-added services and subscription services, to customers.

The company’s total revenue grew to 29.4 million dollars for the six months ended June 30, up 178.7 percent compared to the same period of last year, as boosted by its rapidly growing enterprise value-added services.

Such enterprise-facing services, mainly composed of marketing, consulting, and offline events, have become the backbone 36Kr’s revenue source in the first half the year, contributing over 50 percent to the aggregate revenue.

The company began to shift its business focus onto enterprise value-added services from online advertising since 2016, and the latter will become an important supplement to the company’s business model, Feng Dagang, CEO and co-chairman of 36Kr told Xinhua on Friday.

“The essence of the services we offer to enterprises is connection,” Feng said, adding that the advantage of content-oriented media platforms like 36Kr lies in that they are able to help identify and connect the demand side and supply side in various industries.

“We can connect startups with investors, as well as companies with individuals or government departments,” he noted. “We help search for suitable parties to supply (needed) services.”

Feng also pointed out that traditional Chinese economy has been transforming into the New Economy, which features “the free flow of a variety of resources, including information, capital, technology and talents.”

China’s New Economy has generated tremendous demands for related business services, as the market continues to grow rapidly driven by technological progress, increasing market players and favorable investment and macro environments, according to the prospectus.

“I think all the industries (in China) will possibly be reshaped by New Economy, and there will be a host of opportunities along the way,” Feng noted. “It will make third-party service providers like us gain high growth potential.”

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