Douyu TV, an online platform for live videos of people playing games, has raised $100 million in a funding round led by China’s internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. The deal reportedly values Douyu TV at over $1 billion.
Existing investors Sequoia Capital China, and Nanshan Capital also participated. Tencent’s investment was about $61 million, according to TencentQQ News (Chinese). The funding values Douyu TV at over $1 billion, making it the latest unicorn in China.
Founded in 2013, it ran a video site under a different name initially, and then changed to Douyu TV a year later. Tencent, which operates China’s biggest online-games company, will be hoping to retain its dominant position through this investment amidst signs of slowdown in revenue growth.
There are about 443.6 million gamers in China, and they are expected to push game revenue to about $22.2 billion this year. But the market for desktop games is becoming saturated, while competition is intensifying in the mobile gaming space.
Douyu’s platform has 200 million monthly users, out of which 15 million are daily active users. Such websites don’t generate a lot of revenue, but their broadcast of competitive games and live game play have become important marketing channels for game companies.
Tencent has invested in several game companies recently. It took at 20 per cent stake for $60 million in US-based Pocket Gems Inc., a 15 per cent stake in mobile games company Glu Mobile Inc., and a minority stake in Japan’s Aiming Inc., all within the space of one year.