Developer of TouchPal, CooTek Files for $100 Million IPO on NYSE

“Sophisticated big data analytics and proprietary AI capability are the backbone of our business,” CooTek said in its prospectus.

Anna Vodopyanova
    Aug 16, 2018 3:53 PM  PT
Developer of TouchPal, CooTek Files for $100 Million IPO on NYSE
author: Anna Vodopyanova   

A Shanghai mobile Internet company, CooTek (Cayman) Inc., is seeking to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CTK," according to its regulatory filing today.

Operating globally, CooTek develops mobile applications using artificial intelligence, interaction data, multilingual content processing, and semantic understanding technologies. Its core product is TouchPal Smart Input, a keyboard app for smartphones used by over 110 million typists daily and featuring the same number of languages.

TouchPal, launched in 2008, gained some recognition in the U.S. in 2015 and 2016, promoted by Google's (Nasdaq: GOOGL) awards, including Google Play Best Apps and Top Developer in Google Play Store.

CooTek's portfolio had 15 other mobile applications as of June 30. Among them were two fitness apps, HiFit and ManFIT, as the firm adapted to the health awareness trend. Another of its projects is Talia, a virtual personal assistant similar to iPhone's Siri.

"Sophisticated big data analytics and proprietary AI capability are the backbone of our business," CooTek said in its prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today.

In June, the company's average daily active user (DAU) base reached 132.6 million across multiple countries, representing a year-over-year increase of 75 percent.


(Source: CooTek's prospectus filed Aug. 16)

Its revenue comes mostly from mobile ads, CooTek said in its filing. Its revenue last year was $37.3 million, representing 239 percent year-over-year growth. In the first half of 2018, its revenue was $50.3 million compared with $9.1 million for the same period last year.

Net loss for the full year 2017 was $23.7 million compared with a loss of $30.7 million for 2016. For the six months through June 2018, the firm posted income of $3.5 million in contrast to a $16.2 million loss a year ago.

In its filing, the company cited GSMA Intelligence, a provider of mobile operator data, saying the number of mobile Internet users is estimated to rise globally at a compound annual growth rate, or CAGR, of 5.3 percent from 3.3 billion in 2017 to 5 billion by 2025. Online ads spending is expected to reach $273.8 billion in 2020 compared with $203.6 billion in 2017, as reported by Zenith, a media agency offering communications planning.

CooTek has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Taipei, and Mountain View, California.

Underwriting the deal are Credit Suisse, BofA Merrill Lynch, and Citigroup.

CooTek said it would use the proceeds of its stock sale for research and development, sales and marketing, and general corporate purposes.

CooTek was founded 10 years ago by Karl Kan Zhang, formerly with Microsoft and Intel China Software Lab, Susan Qiaoling Li, who came from Microsoft and Intel (China) Co. Ltd., Michael Jialiang Wang, also from Microsoft, and Jim Jian Wang, previously with NTT Data in Tokyo and Shanghai JT-Omron Software Co. Ltd. The company's senior engineering director, Jack Xuesheng Gong, previously served as a senior development engineer at China's top search giant, Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq: BIDU).

The officers, directors, and principal shareholders of Cootek currently hold 77 percent of the total voting power in the company and will continue to exercise substantial control upon the completion of the IPO.