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Chinese Video Site Tudou Files To Raise Up To $120 Million In U.S. IPO

Tudou, the heavily-backed Chinese video site, has filed to raise up to $120 million in an IPO on the Nasdaq stock market, according to an SEC filing. Tudou features a huge repository of user-generated (and uploaded) clips, as well as licensed content from Chinese broadcasters; the company says its users upload roughly 42,000 clips a day. Some perspective: YouTube says its own users upload “hundreds of thousands” of videos daily. Tudou said earlier this summer that it wanted to launch more professional content and it launched its first orignal drama series, That Love Comes, last month.

Some highlights from the filing:

Financial performance: The company’s revenue is below that of other companies that have tried to go public this year — and it is losing money — but sales are growing blazingly fast. Tudou’s revenue for the nine months ended Sept. 30 was $33.6 million, up 230 percent compared to the same period a year ago. The company posted a net loss of $12.5 million during the same period, down slightly from the prior year. In 2009, the company’s sales totaled $16.9 million. It posted a loss of $21.6 million that year, in part due to huge bandwidth costs.

Tudou says its top five advertisers over the last nine motnhs were Unilever, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Volkswagen and P&G, which collectively accounted for 13.5 percent of its revenue.

Use of funds: The company says it will use the cash it brings in from the offering to fund in-house content efforts, add bandwidth, improve its technology platform, and for general corporate purposes, including possible acquisitions and licensing deals. In recent months, two competitors, Youku and Ku6, have both signed deals to license Hollywood-produced content.

Ownership: Tudou had raised more than $135 million since its start in 2005, including $50 million in a round in August. Sennett Investments is listed as the company’s primary shareholder with 21.3 percent of the company’s stock. Other big investors include Crescent Peak (15.6 percent), First Easy Group (12.4 percent), IDG Technology (11.4 percent), General Catalyst (8.2 percent), JAFCO Asia (5.3 percent), Capital Today (4.8 percent) and Venrock Associates (4.7 percent). Founder and CEO Gary Wang, a former Bertelsmann executive, owns 13.4 percent of the company.

Stock: Tudou hopes to trade on the Nasdaq under the symbol TUDO. Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank Securities and Oppenheimer & Co. are underwriting the offering.