Sub-Industry: Social Networking App
BlueCity operates the largest LGBTQ online platform in Asia, Blued, counting more than 49 million registered users as of March 2020. What launched as a social forum in 2000 under the name Danlan.org, powered by a single founder – a closeted policeman Baoli Ma, today offers various unique services including HIV awareness and prevention, medical consultation and health services, and family planning.
Blued continues to be the preferred platform of the LGBTQ community in China, India, Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam, for social networking, dating, and live-streaming content such as talent shows, matchmaking, comedy, and other forms of expression and entertainment.
Blued’s average mobile active user count was at 6 million in the first quarter of 2020. Users outside of China made up 49% of total MAUs in March, according to company filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Worldwide, Blued has users in over 210 countries and regions and seeks to expand its global footprint and product offerings overseas. The app’s main users are men; hence, a significant potential for growth can be expected amongst female users.
Globally, the online LGBTQ market, which includes consumer spending and marketing expenditures devoted to the LGBTQ community totaled $261.5 billion in 2018, according to independent consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan Research. By 2023, the market is expected to more than double to $580.4 billion, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.3%.
The LGBTQ online social and entertainment market segment saw global revenue of $2.7 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to reach $6.2 billion in 2023. Meanwhile, China’s online health consulting and online pharmacy market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25.3% to $3.6 billion in three years. The global assisted reproductive technology (ART) consulting services market is growing at a CAGR of 20.1%, expected to reach $417.6 million in 2023, Frost & Sullivan reported. By 2023, the number of people who identify as LGBTQ is expected to grow to 591 million from 450 million in 2018, according to figures cited in the prospectus.
BlueCity has announced four public rounds of financing between February 2014 and February 2018. According to Crunchbase, it has raised a total of $131.6 million in Series A through D fundraisings. Among the company's backers is Vision Knight Capital (VKC), a consulting-first private equity fund founded by Zhe (David) Wei, former chief executive of Alibaba Group (NYSE: BABA; HKEX: 09988). Wei has served as a director of BlueCity since 2016. Prior to the IPO, he held a 4.4% stake in BlueCity. For 2019, BlueCity posted revenues of $107.2 million, up 51% year-over-year. Net loss narrowed 63% to $7.5 million, according to the filing. For the first quarter, it reported revenue of $29.3 million on losses of $1.1 million.