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There is a lot of attention recently around TikTok, and investors have started to wonder about investing in TikTok stock. Does TikTok have a stock associated with it? Is it possible to invest in TikTok? Let’s look at TikTok’s stock and how you can invest in TikTok.

Update: in Sept 2022 ByteDance CFO Julie Gao reiterated that the company has no plans to go public, making an IPO highly unlikely.

Update: in April 2023 the Financial Times cited an unnamed US tech investor as stating that a ByteDance IPO is not likely to happen soon: “TikTok has to be sorted out first… and everyone wants to see the Ant Financial problem resolved before any ByteDance IPO.”

What Is TikTok?

TikTok: Fast Facts
IndustrySocial networking
Launch DateSeptember 2016 (China)
September 2017 (International)
HQBeijing, China
Key PeopleLiang Rubo (ByteDance CEO), Shou Zi Chew (TikTok CEO), Vanessa Pappas (TikTok COO)
Parent CompanyByteDance
IPO StatusPrivate, Subsidiary

TikTok is a video-sharing social networking service. Its users use it to create short videos, between 15 seconds and 10 minutes.

This mobile app belongs to a company called ByteDance. ByteDance is a privately held Beijing-based company founded in 2012. ByteDance is currently valued at around $220 billion, a 25% drop over the last year.

TikTok is the international version of Douyin, which was launched in 2016 in the Chinese market. In 2017 it was branded TikTok and launched internationally outside China. Even though the apps are similar, they run on separate servers to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions.

An interesting feature of TikTok is that it uses artificial intelligence to analyze users’ interests and preferences and display personalized content to them.

Why Does TikTok Get So Much Attention?

TikTok’s growth was explosive after launching in 2017 outside of China. It became the most downloaded app in the US in October 2018, the first Chinese app to achieve this.

The app is now available in over 155 markets in 75 languages. The app has been downloaded over 3.3 billion times globally. TikTok had 1.6 billion monthly active users in Q4 2022 and is expected . As of Q1 2022, there were over 100 million monthly active users in the United States alone.

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Source: Business of Apps

In 2021, TikTok was the most downloaded app of the year beating Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger. TikTok is currently the 6th most popular social media app in the world and the second most popular video-specific app, behind only YouTube.

TikTok has also seen its share of controversies. The app was briefly banned in Pakistan and India. The Trump administration proposed a US ban for security reasons, though some observers believed that it was a consequence of pranks by TikTok users aimed at Trump, notably a mass purchasing of rally tickets by non-attendees in 2020.

The combination of popularity and controversy draws attention, and TikTok has become a highly recognizable brand for consumers and investors alike.

TikTok Funding

According to Crunchbase, ByteDance has raised $9.5 billion in venture capital funding in 12 rounds since 2014. Investors include Sequoia Capital China, CCB International, General Atlantic, SoftBank Vision Fund, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Tiger Global management, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts.

The most recent funding round, in March 2023, was a $100 million stake purchased by Abu Dhabi-based G42, based on a

Is There a Stock Associated With TikTok?

TikTok is a product created by a Chinese company called ByteDance. ByteDance is still privately held, meaning its shares are not available on the stock market yet.

That said, ByteDance has received investment from SoftBank, a well-known investment firm. Softbank is keen to have a successful IPO amongst its investments, after Uber, Slack, and WeWork’s failures, and ByteDance will likely be their next bet. That means it’s reasonable to believe that ByteDance will go public at some point soon and therefore enable users to invest in TikTok.

TikTok Financials

ByteDance has not filed a formal prospectus, so audited financials are not available. However, we do have some credible estimates.

TikTok revenues are believed to be showing extremely rapid growth.

Source: Business of Apps

The Financial Times reported in April 2023 that TikTok parent ByteDance achieved record profits of around $25 billion in 2022, overtaking Tencent and Alibaba. This figure was achieved despite falling revenues and losses from the TikTok unit, a consequence of a general drop in online ad spending.

How Can I Invest in TikTok?

ByteDance is a privately held company and its shares do not currently trade on any public exchange. Since it’s not possible to buy TikTok stock from the stock market, there might be other possibilities for investors to invest in ByteDance pre-IPO.

Some platforms provide a secondary market for pre-IPO equity. The way it works is that shareholders of private companies can sell their stock options to investors. Most shareholders will probably be employees of these companies that want to get some liquidity for their illiquid company stock.

These marketplaces often impose investor qualifications, and there is no guarantee or assurance that they will have available shares in any given pre-IPO company.

  • Forge Global merged with Sharespost in 2020. The combined company is now the world’s largest marketplace for private company shares. Investors must make a minimum purchase of $100,000 worth of shares. The minimum may be higher for some companies. Investors may need to meet qualification requirements.
  • EquityZen acquires shares from early investors or from employees who have received stock as part of their compensation. They work with companies to assure that transactions will be recognized and sell the shares to investors who meet the revised SEC “accredited investor” criteria. There’s a minimum investment of $10,000, which may be higher for some companies.
  • Nasdaq Private Market provides access to private-company shares for investors who meet the SEC’s accredited investor criteria.
  • EquityBee is a private marketplace that allows investors to fund employee stock options in return for a share in the proceeds of an eventual sale.

Another possibility is investing in a private equity fund that invests in companies like ByteDance in venture capital rounds. Both EquityZen and AngelList provide such funds where investors can diversify their investments in early-stage or pre-IPO stage companies. By investing in these funds, investors get exposure to great early-stage companies pre-screened by professional investors.

These private equity funds usually require an investor to be a high-net-worth individual. That means only wealthy individuals can really invest in such funds.

 📚 See ALL the ways you can get in on pre-IPO investing: How to Buy Pre-IPO Stocks?

Invest in the IPO

If pre-IPO shares are not available or if the minimum purchase or qualification requirements are prohibitive, you can consider investing in the IPO itself.

Most IPO underwriters allocate set numbers of shares to specific brokers for their clients. You’ll need an account with a broker that has a share allocation. You will tell your broker how many shares you want and they will tell you how many you can get. There is no assurance that you will be able to get a share allocation.

Many brokers have requirements for IPO participation, which you will have to meet.

  • Charles Schwab requires a history of at least 36 trades and an account balance of $100,000 or above for IPO participation.
  • E*Trade has no minimum account balance or trading history requirements for IPO participation. An eligibility questionnaire may be required by the underwriters of the IPO.
  • Fidelity allows IPO participation for clients who meet a minimum household asset requirement or are in their Private and Premium client groups.
  • TD Ameritrade offers participation in IPOs if they are part of the selling group. You will need a minimum account balance of $250,000 or 30 trades in the last calendar year to qualify for an IPO share allocation.

IPO shares may come with a lockup period, often 60 or 90 days. You will not be able to sell your shares until the lockup period expires.

IPO shares will cost more than pre-IPO shares. That cuts your potential gains, but you’ll also have less risk. If you buy at an IPO you know there will be a market for your shares when the lockup period expires, even if there’s no assurance of profit.

There is no assurance that a ByteDance IPO would happen on a US market. If you want to buy at a foreign IPO you will need to look into investing in foreign markets.

Invest After the IPO

The easiest and safest way to buy stock in ByteDance is to wait until after the IPO. You can use your usual broker and there won’t be any special requirements or lockup period. You’ll be able to sell whenever you want.

If you buy after the IPO you won’t get in as cheaply as you would with an IPO or pre-IPO purchase. On the other hand, you’ll be able to buy as few or as many shares as you want, and you’ll have a chance to observe the stock’s market reception before you pull the trigger. That’s especially important if the company makes its debut during a generally weak market.

Getting in before the IPO is not a guarantee of quick profit. Not all stocks spike in value after an IPO. Some, even shares in quality companies, may sputter or even drop immediately after the IPO.

If you buy after the IPO you won’t get the rock-bottom prices that you would get from a pre-IPO purchase or the somewhat higher price you’d pay for participating in the IPO. On the other hand, you will be able to gauge the market’s reception to the IPO before you buy. Not all IPOs soar out of the blocks. Some of them crash.

For long-term investors, the price difference between a pre-IPO and a post-IPO purchase may not be large enough to justify the greater complexity and risk of buying early. If you’re in that bracket, a post-IPO purchase is probably the best way to go.

Since it’s unlikely that there will be another funding round in the short-term, waiting for ByteDance to become public seems to be the simplest route to invest in TikTok.

Also, it’s worth keeping in mind that choosing stock on your own is not always a great idea, especially pre-IPO.

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Are There Any Issues With TikTok?

All investments involve risk, and pre-IPO investing is particularly risky. If you are considering an investment in TikTok, consider these and other risk factors.

  • There may not be an IPO or an exit point. There is no way of knowing when or if ByteDance will have an IPO. If the company does not go public it could be difficult or impossible to sell shares.
  • TikTok is controversial. TikTok has been temporarily banned in several major markets. Further bans could hava an impact on the company’s results.
  • China/US friction. TikTok and ByteDance could be caught up in trade or political disputes between the US and China that could affect the company.
  • Social media is a fast-changing, trend-driven business. Right now TikTok is the rising star but next year there could be a new one.
  • Internal Chinese issues. Several Chinese tech companies have seen crackdowns from Chinese authorities. ByteDance could be next.

As with any investment, careful balancing or risks and potential rewards is essential.


ByteDance is the world’s most valuable VC-backed company by a wide margin. That alone is guaranteed to whet the appetities of investors. There’s still no indication that the company will go public any time soon, or at all. Under these circumstances investment would have to be considered highly speculative if it is possible at all.


What is TikTok?

TikTok is a video sharing social networking service. Its users use it to create short videos. The length of these videos ranges between 15 seconds and 10 minutes.

Is there a stock associated with TikTok?

TikTok is a product created by a Chinese company called ByteDance. ByteDance is still privately held, meaning its shares are not available on the stock market yet.

How can I invest in TikTok?

Since it’s not possible to buy TikTok stock from the stock market, there might be other possibilities for investors to invest in ByteDance pre-IPO. Some platforms like EquityZen provide a secondary market for pre-IPO equity. Another possibility is to invest in a private equity fund that in turn invest in companies like ByteDance in venture capital rounds. Both EquityZen and AngelList provide such funds. That said, waiting for ByteDance to become public seems to be the simplest route to invest in TikTok.

Who owns TikTok?

TikTok is owned by ByteDance. ByteDance is a Beijing-based company founded in 2012.

Who is the CEO of TikTok?

Singaporean businessman Shou Zi Chew has been the CEO of TikTok since 2021.

How much is TikTok worth?

TikTok is owned by a Chinese privately held tech company called ByteDance. ByteDance is valued at $220 billion, making it the most valuable venture-backed private company in the world.

Is Bytedance a publicly-traded company?

No, ByteDance is still privately held, meaning its shares are not available on the stock market yet.