VZAN, a mobile forum service provider on WeChat, just received RMB 10 million (USD 1.5 million) in angel financing from Banyan Capital and Shinuke Fund, Chinese tech websites have reported.
According to the company, the funds will be used for product development and promotion.
Founded in July 2015, VZAN is a WeChat-based forum platform aimed at providing easy interaction between WeChat official accounts and their followers.
WeChat official accounts fall into two categories: subscription accounts and service accounts. The former is mostly used by media organizations and individuals to improve communication with readers, while the latter provides organizations with an easy way to set up an authorized account on WeChat.
VZAN allows holders of public accounts to share information efficiently and encourages online participation, giving followers a sense of belonging.
By providing official accounts and followers with an avenue for online interaction, VZAN also effectively solves the problem of one-way communication that these official accounts previously faced.
Besides giving users the option to share information with images and text, VZAN hopes to improve its services and provide users with a new way of using its platform.
Zhou Pengpeng, Co-founder of VZAN, said in an interview with tech news website 36Kr that the company hopes to include the model of “live broadcast and replies” on the platform next.
According to Zhou, the company has developed tools to facilitate live broadcasts and is expected to roll out this service in the near future.
“We have a keen interest in what is happening in the WeChat environment, especially relating to entrepreneurial opportunities on the platform,” Gao Yang, founding partner of Banyan Capital, told Chinese tech blog iyiou.
For example, forum operators can make revenue by charging a fee for advertising space on their platforms.
Advertisers who are on a self-serve advertising platform can also enjoy the liberty of freely uploading new content, with forum operators playing the role of a regulatory authority.
As such, Gao foresees VZAN playing an increasingly important role in the WeChat ecosystem in the future.
Presently, VZAN has about 30 million users on its platform with 900 thousand daily active users and averages about 4 million daily pageviews.
(Top picture from Google.com)