Personalized News App Toutiao Lands $100mn Series C Funding
Toutiao, a personalized news app, announced that it has secured $100 million of Series C financing led by Sequoia Capital and followed by Sina Weibo at a valuation of $500 million.
The company has previously received eight-digit USD Series B financing from Yuri Milner, founder of DST, at a valuation of $60 million in 2013. The seven-digit USD first-round funding were received from SIG in 2012.
Launched in August 2012, Toutiao is a feed reader that tries to integrate the most relevant contents for users by gradually learning what the readers enjoy through analysis on data obtained from their social networking accounts. As a content distributor, Toutiao cooperates with other content providers and does not generate contents itself.
The fund will be used in R&D of machine learning technologies, according to Zhang Yiming, founder and CEO of Toutiao.
Sequoia Capital is bullish on the mobile news app sector and the technology of Toutiao, according to Shen Nanpeng, founding partner of the investor. Cao Guowei, board chairman of Sina, said that the investment is made to enhance the synergy effects, because Toutiao is now the largest news source for contents shared to Sina Weibo.
Toutiao’s founder Zhang Yiming is a serial entrepreneur who either established or worked for Internet companies like SyncWrite, ticket booking service Kuxun, community platform Hainei, and property rental site 99fang.
The app registered more than 120 million users with over 40 million daily active users, according to data released by the company.
The Chinese news app battlefield is quite crowded. In addition to mobile apps backed by news portals like NetEase, Sina and Sohu, U.S. social magazine Flipboard also entered Chinese market three years ago and planned to construct a local technical team to tap the market. Local news magazine ZAKER claimed more than 40 million downloads, while an another similar app Xianguo claimed 5 million users.
Emma Lee : Lixin@technode.com
Source : Personalized News App Toutiao Lands $100mn Series C Funding