Career and social networking platform, Maimai, announced its Series D round of funding on August 21. The China-based company raised $200 million at a valuation of over $1 billion, making it the first and only unicorn in the career and social networking space.
This is the largest single funding round in the industry according to Chinese media reports. Officially completed in April, the Series D round was led by DST Global and followed by Series B investors IDG Capital and Morningside Venture Capital, as well as DCM Ventures which invested during Series C.
Maimai was founded in 2012 by Lin Fan, former CTO of Sogou Inc. and a computer science graduate from Tsinghua University. Prior to Maimai, Lin Fan also worked on campus recruitment at Dajie.com, another career-focused social networking platform, and founded Taou.com, a networking search engine that later developed a social voice messaging app.
Launched in October 2013, Maimai currently leads the China market with over 50 million registered users, 3 billion monthly page views, and a penetration rate of 83.8 percent among active users in June 2018. In the same month, LinkedIn China achieved a penetration rate of only 11.85 percent, followed by Yuemi at 7.69 percent.
“Do not call us the LinkedIn of China. We position ourselves as ‘WeChat for Work’,” said Lin in a past interview, “WeChat solves personal needs and we solve working needs.”
The homegrown career platform also announced the “Tianti Project”, which literally translates to “Stairway to Heaven Project”. It is an in-depth cooperation with over 1000 partners projected to require one billion yuan ($146 million) of investment to help people from different industries find their career paths and realize their potential.
After its Series C round in November 2017 which already earned Maimai its unicorn status, Lin publicly stated that the goal for the company is to go public in 2019 with a target market valuation of $10 billion.