Musical.ly, the app that makes it easy to create music videos, is in the process of raising about $100 million in funding, at around a $500 million post-money valuation, TechCrunch has learned. The details are still being finalized, but the plan is for GGV Capital and Qiming Venture Partners to co-lead the round, with participation from Greylock Partners and DCM.
Headquartered in Shanghai, Musical.ly has gained significant traction with young teens across the globe. The team says it has 60 million users and is especially popular in the U.S. The lip-sync app has similarities to Dubsmash, but is more of a social media platform. Users can follow accounts to keep up with their favorite performers.
While the business has gained significant traction, its details have largely remained under the radar. Musical.ly raised a round of capital from GGV and Greylock last year and received very little media attention.
While the investors would not comment on the current fundraising round, they are especially enthusiastic about Musical.ly.
The app has allowed people to “turn the video camera on themselves and be comfortable expressing themselves in new ways,” said Josh Elman, partner at Greylock. “Musical.ly was not just a way to create this content, but a network.”
Hans Tung, a board member at Musical.ly and a partner at GGV Capital, said that he was ”
impressed by the founder’s ability to turn a tool into a social network.” He sees it as an “opportunity to create a new form of expression.”
The focus is on music videos right now, but we are hearing that Musical.ly has some pending updates that would broaden the app’s appeal to older demographics.
The app is free and available on both iPhone and Android.
We’re told that the fundraising is still in progress and that some deals could fall through. Musical.ly declined to comment.