In its the third round of funding for the company Youku raised $25 million which is pretty large amount for a China based web site. We remember large scale funding happened before for a couple of other China Internet companies one of which is Maxthon, the China based browser organized as donateware (part of Charles River Venture’s portfolio). Brookside Capital Partners, a subsidiary of Ban Capital, led the round with previous investors Sutter Hill Ventures, Farraloon Capital Management and Chengwei Ventures also participating. Youku’s previous two rounds were for $3 million and $12 million, giving the video-sharing site a total of $40 million in funding to date.
Youku.com is a rapidly growing Chinese YouTube-style video sharing site. It is one of the larger Chinese video sites, with more than 70 million video plays a day according to Pacific Epoch. Youku also has a lot of big-time connections. Victor Koo, the chief executive of Youku, used to be the chief executive of Sohu, and the two companies have a business relationship. Farallon Capital, the hedge fund, led an initial round of $3 million in March 2006. Bain Capital venture subsidiary Brookside Capital Partners led this latest round, with other investors including Chengwei Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures. Also the well-known Sutter Hill partner Len Baker is on Youku’s board.
The investment money is said to be used towards infrastructure and operations, according to the company. There is a belief that part of the money will go for improving the copyright protection methods, which for a country like China are more than important. Google’s YouTube is also heading towards the Chinese market trying to increase its market share there.
The site was hard to open from outside China.
In other news Sohu.com Inc. (Nasdaq: SOHU), China’s leading online media, communications and search company and Youku.com, China’s leading online video website, announced today that they entered into strategic cooperation to jointly foster the development of the online video industry in China and to promote video-based citizen journalism and user generated content among Chinese online users.
[ via Mashable ]
[ via Paidcontent ]
[ via Venturebeat ]