Bloomberg: $3B+ IPO planned for Sohu/Tencent's Sogou search engine
Mar 20 2015, 12:20 ET By: Eric Jhonsa, SA News Editor
#3 Chinese search engine Sogou is planning an IPO that will feature a $3B+ valuation, Bloomberg reports. Sources add Sogou, which is controlled by Sohu (SOHU +3.7%), could see an offering in 2H15. Sogou has been easily outgrowing Sohu's portal and gaming ops: Its revenue rose 70% Y/Y in Q4 to $119M. It had an estimated 6.9% Q4 Chinese search share, trailing Baidu's (NASDAQ:BIDU) 74.4% and Qihoo's (NYSE:QIHU) 17.3%.
Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY) bought a 40.9% stake in Sogou in 2013 for $516M, and has integrated Sogou's services with its wildly popular WeChat mobile messaging platform (recently hit 500M MAUs). Aside from search, Sogou's services include a Web directory, games, and popular Chinese-language typing software (Sogou Pinyin).