China’s largest gaming company Tencent Holdings has made a US$125 million investment in Kuaikan World Technology, a popular online and mobile platform for Chinese comics, to further penetrate the teen market, Yicai Global reported.
Beijing-based Kuaikan has a huge following among China’s youth, especially those born after the year 2000. The investment is expected to bring many positives for the two companies, said Li Zhaohui, Tencent’s investment management partner.
The cartoon maker will continue to operate independently but will collaborate with Shenzhen-based Tencent on intellectual property matters and user traffic, investment platform ChinaVenture reported, citing Kuaikan founder and Chief Executive Chen Anni from an internal circular, the report said.
The funding will enable the anime firm to become more technology driven, utilizing artificial intelligence and Big Data technology to enhance content creation and improve distribution efficiency, said Chen, who is a well-known cartoonist in her own right.
Since its founding in 2014, Kuaikan has raised several hundred million in financing, making it the most well-funded firm in its sector, company data shows. A D round of fundraising in 2017 brought in US$177 million, led by technology sector hedge fund Coatue Management.
The company will continue to increase support for homegrown Chinese anime, further develop intellectual property rights, invest more in product research and development and improve its content communities for those born after 2000, Chen added.
Its app, Kuaikan Comics, has acquired more than 200 million users since its establishment, Deal Street Asia reported. Among them, 40 million are monthly active users and half of its users were born in the 2000s.
“Tencent is optimistic with the long-term development of the animation industry. That’s why we have been investing in the upstream and downstream of the animation industry in the past years, covering numerous comic marketplaces and studios that produce comics and cartoons,’ said Jeffrey Li Zhaohui, Managing Partner of Tencent Investment.