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Tech financing in China this week – Chinese mobile medical company secures USD 4.6M in Series A financing, & more

Don’t miss out on our headlines of the week: celebrity blogger’s lifestyle app gets USD 9.1 million; shopping platform for middle-schoolers receives USD 3M; book and movie review platform raises tens of millions USD.

Celebrity blogger, director and race car driver Han Han (screenshot from Han Han’s site)

Chinese star blogger Han Han’s ONE lifestyle app receives USD 9.1 million in Series A financing

Catherine Lai

On Thursday, ONE App announced that it had received RMB 60 million (USD 9.1 million) from China Growth Capital as part of its Series A financing.

ONE App is a digital magazine launched three years ago by influential Chinese author, director, and race car driver Han Han, who was named one of the top 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine. Based on the idea that “one is enough”, the app provides users with one article, one photo collection, one Q&A and one product every day. Strongly driven by Han Han’s personal brand, the app currently has 30 million users and over one million daily readers.

The funding announcement coincided with the release of the app’s new version, ONE 3.0, which added features for music and film. Every day, it will release three original songs, along with a bio for artists. The film feature will have rating and review functions as well as a ticket-buying function from Gewara, a ticket platform that merged with Tencent’s Weiying Technology last December. The company also plans to hold offline events like concerts and music festivals.

This signals a shift in the company’s direction, one that coincides with China Growth Capital’s stated interest in “new modes of consumption”, as explained on its website. Previously, the app relied on ads for revenue, but it has now shifted to multiple sources of revenue, including allowing users to buy products through the app. Apart from the app, ONE also runs a Taobao shop and offline shops under its brand.

Last year, the company started to focus on intellectual property, signing with writers, and film and TV companies. It seems to be building an intellectual property chain, incubating promising writers and musicians and retaining their content to distribute through the app. It has also started adapting movies and TV shows from the literary content it already owns.

ONE’s expansion into the film and music realm makes sense, given that music apps are the fourth most used app category on mobile devices, and given that box office proceeds grew by 48.7% in 2015. Earlier this week, book and movie review platform Duyao also received millions of dollars in financing.

ShenqiBuy’s 17-year-old CEO Wang Kaixin (photo from Baidu Images)

Personalized e-commerce site for post-95s lands USD 3M in Series A financing

Danielle Li

How does a latecomer to online shopping steal the market from e-commerce giants such as Taobao and One way is to target a specific group of consumers. Wang Kaixin, a 17-year-old high school dropout and CEO of “ShenqiBuy”, is ambitiously entering the game by targeting users her own age.

“ShenqiBuy”, or “MagicBuy” in English, is an e-commerce site founded last September in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen that targets the post-95 generation of young Chinese people. It landed RMB 20 million (USD three million) in Series A fundraising only three months after the launch of its app from notable investors including Matrix Partners China, Zhen Fund, and Shenzhen-based InnoValley, which also invested several million yuan in its angel financing, reported tech media outlet on Wednesday.

Wang said this round of funding will be used to expand the team and update the app. She plans to double her team from the 50 staff it has right now to 100.

With Doge, a dog meme popular with young people, as the website’s logo, ShenqiBuy sells snacks, accessories, stationery, backpacks, and other things to teenagers who are into the cute, new and trendy.

Deviating from the common practice of dividing goods by category, this app uses the latest trends among middle schoolers as tags. For example, Japanese animation, Korean boy band EXO, popular Chinese post-90s boy band TFBoys and the like. A professional team of buyers post daily recommendations on the app, using comments from frequent consumers. In this way, high-schoolers who have little time to shop online get easy access to what they want.

The e-commerce site came out of Wang’s high school experience selling things to her classmates. Under strong opposition from her family, she insisted on dropping out of high school and starting her own company.

She said her advantage is that she knows her target consumers very well. She says teenagers want things that are funny and affordable, because they only need them for entertainment, to impress their classmates or to stand out.

“The top three bestsellers are an umbrella with a cartoon banana on it, a potato chip handbag and a plastic watch with a fruit logo,” Wang said.

Wang said 80% of goods sold on the platform are priced between RMB 10-100, in accordance with the consumption habits of teenagers. According to a survey conducted by the company, 75% of post-95s have less than RMB 1000 to spend every month.

Wang claims to have 300,000 registered users on the platform and to have received more than 1000 daily orders as of January 2016.

China now has more than 200 million post-95s, 90% of whom are internet-driven. According to TalkingData, a mobile data analysis platform, 36.5% of China’s mobile device users are under the age of 25, as of last December.

Photo from Baidu Images
Chinese movie and book review sharing platform raises tens of millions of dollars in Series A+ financing

Lisa Zhang

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.

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.

Photo from Baidu Images

Chinese mobile medical company secures USD 4.6M in Series A financing

Lisa Zhang

Chinese mobile medical company Paiyipai disclosed that it has received RMB 30 million (USD 4.56 million) in Series A financing led by Mountain View Partners, followed by Yilian Capital, Han Xiaohong from Ciming Checkup, and Redpoint Ventures, Chinese tech media site 36Kr reported on Monday.

The Beijing-based mobile medical startup raised a few million RMB in angel investment from Redpoint Ventures last March.

Paiyipai can analyze laboratory test results and store users’ medical records through a smartphone app. Users can upload photos of their laboratory test results to the app for analysis. The app will also send relevant medical information to users. It also plans to add other functions such as reminders for patients to take their medicine and medicine price comparisons, Sohu News reported.

Wu Shizhan, co-founder and CEO of Paiyipai, said besides individual users, there’s a high demand from companies who want to use their technology. Paiyipai will expand its business by cooperating with companies.

Paiyipai decided to open its technology to companies after this round of financing. They will share the technology for scanning and analyzing photos of medical documents to build a photo recognition cloud platform. It will also provide medical and pharmaceutical organizations with internet technology services including big data, artificial intelligence, machine vision, data mining and the construction of an information system. It is also aiming to provide medical startup companies with services such as making apps for startups.

Wu said Paiyipai is working with more than 10 companies at the moment. It is working with a Chinese mobile health management company named Jijiankang, which develops photo recognition technology. Paiyipai also plans to set up a joint venture with China’s largest hemodialysis company Dakang Medical.

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