KKR-backed Chinese digital marketing startup Cue bags Series A funding

Shanghai, China. Photo by Merlin Kraus on Unsplash

Chinese digital marketing startup Cue on Tuesday announced that it has completed its Series A financing round led by Anchor Equity Partners and joined by Princeville Global.

The startup’s existing investor – private equity major KKR – has also committed an additional investment in Cue. The financial terms of the Series A round were not disclosed.

According to KKR, the investment is being made from its $9.3-billion Asian Fund III. The fresh capital will be used to enhance Cue’s digital strategies, research and development, value-added acquisitions and to improve the startup’s products and services.

“With the completion of Series A round of financing, we are even better positioned to serve our diverse set of clients in China. This capital further helps us solidify our market-leading position at a time when brands are seeking creative digital solutions and ata strategies to differentiate themselves and better communicate with their customers,” said Cue CEO Sky Shi.

Cue claims that it is China’s leading one-stop technology platform dedicated to deliver data-driven marketing insights and growth solutions to enterprises. To date, it has assisted over 600 Chinese brands through its solutions.

“As China’s enterprises services and digital media industry undergo profound changes, we believe Cue has excellent prospects for growth and the wide-ranging capabilities and expertise to help its clients achieve business success,” said KKR Greater China CEO and member Paul Yang.

Cue was launched by KKR in March 2018, through the combination of four digital media firms that it acquired in China. These include digital media buying and ad agency Qi-xin, digital marketing agency AnG, brand management and PR firm WIN, and SSP and commercial WiFi operator Wina Tech.

“Cue has been a trusted partner empowering its clients with integrated, data-driven, and technology-enabled services to achieve growth and success, while aggregating demand and delivering sustainable growth to publishers and media platforms. As an emerging leader in the space, Cue will continue making tremendous contributions to the digitalization and transformation of the ecosystem,” said Anchor Equity Partners founder and managing partner Sanggyun Ahn.

Founded by former executives of Goldman Sachs Principal Investment Area team in Asia, Anchor Equity Partners has over $3 billion under management. It focuses on buyout, growth capital and industry consolidation opportunities in the Asia-Pacific. This is not the first time that Anchor Equity Partners is working with KKR. In 2015, both jointly acquired a controlling stake in South Korean mobile commerce company Ticket Monster Inc from Groupon for $360 million.