While going through my RSS feeds from the past days I noticed that Tudou.com was again included in the 2009 version of the Silicon Alley Insider top 60. This is a list of the 60 most valuable private Internet start-ups. Last year Tudou landed at place 22 with a USD 300 million valuation, this year we were at place 27 but at a higher valuation of USD 500 million. The analysis that SAI provided:
Tudou is largely seen as the YouTube of China, which represents a large growth opportunity as more and more Chinese aggressively consume online video. A year ago the site had 60 million monthly unique visitors, which has likely grown closer to 90 million. Though YouTube is clearly a threat, the Chinese are well-known for strongly favoring their own Web sites and so far this has proven true with Tudou, which has a greater market share in China than YouTube.
Revenue figures are hard to come by, but the company is likely losing a lot of money due to high bandwidth and licensing costs. Online video aggregators have come under scrutiny recently due to questions about the viability of their business models, but we still believe the opportunity is still large in the space and there is value in the leaders while the industry figures out how to turn viewers into profits.
Last year we gave the company a conservative $300 million valuation. This year we get a little more aggressive given the company’s growth the past year, resulting in a $500 million valuation.
Of course the list is quite arbitrary (where is Spil Games for example? Much smaller competitor Miniclip is in there at place 38) and the makers also acknowledge that, but it’s still nice to be included once again in such a ranking.
Note: I will not be able to comment on the valuation or on any of the other figures in the article, nor on the position of our competitors.