Google Backs Another Chinese Startup: Provides $120M to Chushou in D-Round Financing

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Google is investing in a Chinese live streaming platform.

On January 5, ThePaper.cn learned from live mobile game platform Chushou that it had obtained $120 million (777 million yuan) in D-round financing with Google as its new investor. Chushou’s existing investors Qiming Venture, Shunwei and Alphax Partners also participated in this round of financing.

Chushou didn’t disclose Google’s shareholder status nor its valuation after financing.

Reuters reported this is the second time Google has invested in a Chinese startup. In 2015, Google acquired a small stake in Mobvoi, a Beijing-based artificial intelligence start-up. In that round of financing, Mobvoi raised $75 million.

“Chushou has become an impressive live broadcast platform by its focus, rapidly growing content creators and consumer groups, and a wise development plan,” Lin Yifan, a spokesperson for Google’s enterprise investment development, said in a release, “We’re very pleased to cooperate with Chushou through investment. We will help them to carry out their plans and bring high-quality mobile game content to more users around the world.”

“Google’s investment proves the innovation of our team. It also provides us with confidence and support to expand abroad. We look forward to further cooperation with Google in more forms,” said David Cao, Chushou’s founder and CEO.

Chushou said its platform has accumulated more than 8 million anchors. Every day, an average of 250,000 anchors broadcast on the platform, sharing their mobile gaming experiences. More than 90 million mobile game players are registered on Chushou to watch live broadcasts.

Chushou belongs to Kaixun Technology in Hangzhou. The company was established in 2011. The responsible individual is COO Li Qiang. Its registered capital is 12 million yuan. Kaixun CEO David Cao holds a 54.47 percent stake, which is the largest among all shareholders.

Previously, Chushou received investment from Meisheng Culture, GGV and Shunwei. In December 2016, Chushou completed a 400-million-yuan financing round led by GGV and Shunwei. Meisheng Culture withdrew from Chushou in September 2017.

On September 29, 2017, Meisheng Culture announced said its wholly owned subsidiary Meisheng Hong Kong transferred the stake it owned in Kascend Holding, 6.1684 percent, to Hangzhou Huangzeyuyi Investment Partnership for 120 million yuan. After the transfer, Meisheng Culture no longer held shares of Kascend.

The announcement showed Kascend main operates the mobile platform Chushou TV. Chushou’s founders and management team holds a 34.75 percent stake in Kascend. GGV Capital, Shunwei and other shareholders hold 59.08 percent of Kascend’s shares.

The announcement also disclosed the financial data of Chushou. As of December 31, 2016, the total assets of Kascend were 360 million yuan. Its net assets were 196 million yuan, its annual business revenue was 90.3399 million yuan and its net profit was a loss of 190 million yuan.

The investment trend changed in 2017. The “shuffle” of live broadcast platforms may be drawing to a close. Small platforms gradually withdraw while large platforms are anxious about how to become profitable.

It should be noted that the financial data of Chushou is not the most satisfying among major broadcast platforms. The profits of Momo and Inke exceeded 100 million yuan. Douyu, which also positions itself as live-broadcasting platform for gamers, announced it was profitable after completing its D-round financing in November 2017.

Although Google did not disclose why it chose Chushou from numerous live platforms, the move fits with its recent actions in China. On December 13, 2017, at the Google Developers Conference in Shanghai, Fei-Fei Li, Google cloud chief scientist, announced that a Google AI research center had been established in China. The center will be run by a team in its existing Beijing office.

This article originally appeared in thepaper and was translated by Pandaily.
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