Chinese movie and book review sharing platform Duyao announced that it has received tens of millions of dollars in Series A+ financing led by Yunfeng Capital, which was founded by Alibaba Group Chairman Jack Ma, and followed by SIG, the tech channel of Tencent News reported on Monday.
Duyao, which literally means “poison” in English, allows users to share book and movie reviews and rate books and movies on its smartphone app. It aims to build a platform for independent reviewers. Duyao raised a few million dollars in Series A financing from SIG last March and went online last May. The platform was founded by Hou Xiaoqiang, former CEO of China’s leading online literary provider Cloudary Corporation.
Yang Hao, the co-founder of Duyao, said China’s booming movie market offers Duyao a great opportunity. Chinese box office earnings reached RMB 29.6 billion (USD 4.5 billion) in 2014, a year-on-year increase of 36%. In 2015, it reached RMB 44 billion (USD 6.6 billion), a-year-on-year growth of 48.7%. China sold over 1.2 billion movie tickets in 2015 and made up about 17.8% of global box office earnings. It is now the second largest movie market in the world, and is adding 15 screens every day, iFeng news reported.
Yang said the rapid growth of the movie-going audience gives Duyao room to develop. Many audience members have the ability and desire to write movie reviews. Duyao aims to find talented writers of book and movie reviews in China and help them enter core fields such as film production by providing them with relevant resources.
Registered users on Duyao surpassed three million by the end of 2015, and active users produced nearly 10,000 original articles every day.
Duyao relies on its users to create content in its early stages. The platform is now building a team of reporters to create professional content. It will employ 500 movie review writers in 2016.