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Pinduoduo sets IPO offering price at highest end

By Tan Xinyu | | Updated: 2018-07-26 13:38
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Chinese online group discounter Pinduoduo sets IPO offering price at highest end. [Photo/IC]

Chinese online group discounter Pinduoduo nailed down its offering price at the highest end of the indicative price spectrum of $19 per share, with a value of $24 billion, as the company will debut on the Nasdaq on Thursday, local time, according to a report by tech news portal All Weather TMT.

Financial news outlet Caixin cited a source familiar with the matter, who said investors' subscriptions have exceed 20 times the initial share volume, which gave Pinduoduo a right to raise the ceiling on the share price up 20 percent to $22.8 for each American depositary share, but Huang Zheng, founder of Pinduoduo, insisted on $19 per share.

The 3-year-old company updated its prospectus to the US Securities and Exchange Commission last Monday and planned to collect up to $1.87 billion with 85.6 million shares on offer at a price range between $16 and $19 each share.

Pinduoduo's shareholders — Tencent Holdings Limited and Sequoia Capital — each planned to purchase up to $250 million of the ADSs representing Class A ordinary shares in the initial public offering, according to its prospectus.

With a weighted voting rights structure, or dual-class shares, which allows founders to keep outsized voting rights, Huang Zheng will own a 46.8 percent stake with aggregate 89.8 percent voting power after the IPO, while Tencent will take up 17 percent, Banyan Partners Funds 9.3 percent, and Sequoia Funds 6.8 percent, data from the prospectus showed.

The Shanghai-based startup has accumulated 343.6 million active buyers in the 12-month period ending June 30, with 262.1 billion yuan ($39.24 billion) in gross merchandise volume. Second-quarter financial data released in the prospectus showed monthly active users on average reached 195 million, up 17 percent from the first quarter.

Compared with a user pool as large as its e-commerce rival JD and half as big as Alibaba, Pinduoduo's GMV and revenue are only 4.1 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively, of Alibaba, Caixin said.

Meanwhile, domestic e-commerce peers are pushing back. Alibaba, for instance, launched a new platform called Taobao Tejia, or Taobao Special Price Edition, and JD has introduced group shopping. Both let users make bulk purchases of cheap products in a way similar to Pinduoduo.

Pinduoduo aims to combine value-for-money and entertainment, while alleged phony goods and how to protect rights and interests of merchants and consumers are among the issues Pinduoduo was facing.

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