2/7/2018 – China’s online parenting services platform Babytree has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong, joining the wave of Chinese tech firms that have been seeking to list in the city this year,
The application for an IPO was filed last week although details about the share offering and price are yet to be announced.
Babytree is currently valued at RMB 14 billion (about US$2.19 billion) after receiving a strategic investment from Alibaba last month. Its backers also include China’s strategic players like Fosun, Matrix Partners China, and TAL Education Group.
Launched in 2007, Babytree claims to be China’s largest online parenting community with 200 million active users every month on its online platform and mobile app which offers maternal and child-rearing information.
The platform also runs an ecommerce platform and develop C2M childhood education products and services, as well as healthcare services.
“We launched babytree.com in 2007 to create an online destination for expecting parents and young parents in China to communicate with each other to discover the best pregnancy and parenting advice.”
“Today, we have built a vibrant community for young families on the two pillars of strong social features and high-quality content,” the company said in its prospectus.
Babytree will use the proceeds from its IPO to fund its business expansion, R&D, as well as future investments including acquisitions and strategic alliances.
According to a Frost & Sullivan report, the market catering to young families in the country has grown rapidly from RMB 6.3 trillion (about US$951 billion) in 2013 to RMB 11 trillion (about US$1.66 trillion) in 2017.
During this period, the study reported that the mother and child products and services market also expanded from RMB 1 trillion (about US$151 billion) in 2013 to RMB 2 trillion (about US$302 billion) in 2017 with a compounded annual growth rate as high as 18.9 percent.
This is said to be the effect of China’s ease of control over family planning policies, allowing parents to have a second child. This is expected to fuel the growth of businesses related to pregnancy, child rearing, and education.
“The young family spending market is expected to further diversity and other family members’ needs will be further explored,” said Babytree.
Babytree expects the proportion of mother & child products to continue to rise and reach 20 percent of the total young family spending market in 2022.