ByteDance acquires gaming developer Moonton at near $4 billion valuation
ByteDance, the parent company of the popular video-sharing app TikTok, has acquired gaming Shanghai-based studio startup Moonton at a near $4 billion valuation, according to a report from Reuters. The acquisition is part of ByteDance’s effort to shore up its video games unit Nuverse as it seeks to further expand into the video games business.
According to Reuters, citing two sources familiar with the acquisition, the deal values the gaming studio at around $4 billion. The announcement comes as ByteDance and Chinese short video platform Douyin, made sizeable inroads into the video games business, putting the companies in direct competition with China’s Tencent.
Founded in 2014 by an ex-Tencent employee, Moonton is a Chinese video game developer and publisher. The startup is most famous in Southeast Asia for its multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game Mobile Legends. Moonton currently has over 750 employees including more than 50 overseas employees.
“Through cross-team collaboration and drawing on lessons and insights from its own rapid growth, Moonton provides the strategic support needed to accelerate Nuverse’s global gaming offerings,” ByteDance said in a statement, declining to comment on the size of the acquisition.
In an internal memo, Yuan Jing, CEO of Moonton, said the company would operate independently from ByteDance after the acquisition, a source told Reuters on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to speak to the press.
Founded in 2012 by Yiming Zhang, ByteDance is an Internet technology company and the owner of TikTok app. ByteDance claims to have over 200 million daily active users that spend an hour each every day on its products. Bytedance also operates a series of products popular with mobile users around the world, including Topbuzz, Flipagram, and a number of UGC short-form video apps.