Miaopai: a 10-second video filming app turns its parent company into a tech unicorn in 2 years

Miaopai: 10-second video filming app

Screenshot from Miaopai.com
Screenshot from Miaopai.com

A Chinese company running Vine-like short video filming and sharing app Miaopai has joined the unicorn club merely two years after its launch.

Miaopai means filming within seconds. The app’s parent company Beijing-based Yixia Technology is valuated at USD one billion after its USD 200 million Series D financing last November. This round of financing was led by Weibo Corp., with funding from South Korea’s YG Entertainment and Sequoia Capital.

Apart from allowing users to shoot, share and edit 10-second videos, the app also provides an array of themes, special effects, sounds, music and filters that can be added to the videos. It is embedded in the largest Chinese social media Sina Weibo, which claimed to have more than 100 million daily active users in its third quarter report of 2015.

Besides the huge user base from Weibo, the app also promotes itself through celebrities. It landed Series C investment from StarVC, a venture capital firm founded by Chinese celebrities including Li Bingbing and Huang Xiaoming.

In order to make it easier for Chinese users who have to pay a large amount for mobile data, this app is specially designed for low amounts of data transfer. It only requires up to 600K of data to upload a video, equivalent to the amount needed to upload four pictures.

CEO of Miaopai, Han Kun, the former co-founder of video media site Ku6.com, told NetEase portal that Miaopai would keep producing good video content to avoid a similar fate to apps that were a smashing success when they were first launched and later failed. According to Miaopai, over one million videos were uploaded every day on its platform and they had 510 million daily video views and more than five million daily active users as of November 2015.

Miaopai has to contend with domestic rivals such as Weishi, which was launched by Tencent, and Meipai, produced by the Meitu Xiuxiu team. Out of these three video apps, Meipai had the most Android downloads in 2014. Its overseas equivalents Vine and Instagram have secured support from leading social networks Twitter and Facebook.

Besides Miaopai, another of company’s signature products is Xiaokaxiu, which means “grassroots star show”. Launched in May 2015, Xiaokaxiu has already accumulated five million daily active users. Users use the app to record videos of themselves and share them on social media like Weibo and Wechat. Its highlight is that users can produce funny videos by lip syncing to the provided gallery of sound clips and captions, which are well-known excerpts from Chinese movies, songs, ads and talk shows.

Photo from Baidu Images.

Chinese stars including actress Jiang Xin have backed the product and used it to increase their popularity. One of Jiang’s funny videos recorded on the app were clicked more than 15 million times.

CEO Han believes it can go far because it differs from other video social apps in concept – in other apps, users shoot videos to entertain themselves, while in Xiaokaxiu, users record videos to entertain others. Xiaokaxiu rose the top of the App Store’s free apps list with over 20 million users only 80 days after it was launched. As of 2015, it had 1500 stars registered on its platform.

AllTechAsia Staff

AllTechAsia is a startup media platform dedicated to providing the hottest news, data service and analysis on the tech and startup scene of Asian markets in English.

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