Live streaming platform M17 Entertainment has landed $26.5 million in a Series D funding round led by the Temasek-backed Vertex Growth Fund, the company said in a press release Monday.
Other investors participating in the round included Stonebridge Korea Unicorn Venture Fund, InnoVen Capital, Kaga Electronics and ASE Global Group, M17 said.
“With consumer preferences shifting to individualized on-demand viewing online, M17 is capitalizing on the need for a robust, financially viable platform for artists,” the company said in a statement.
“The company will focus on deepening its presence in Japan and the rest of developed Asia, while planning expansion into the United States and new markets such as the Middle East, with the aim of securing substantial new users and artists,” it added.
A Vertex representative told DealStreetAsia M17’s latest funding round was both larger than the last and at a higher valuation.
“This reflects the progress and value M17 has created since, and the expectation of its continued growth and market domination,” the representative told DealStreetAsia in an email.
In 2018, M17 had raised $25 million in a funding round led by Terry Tsang, CEO of Hong Kong’s mobile game developer Madhead. Temasek Holdings-linked Pavilion Capital, Stonebridge Ventures and existing investors of M17 Entertainment had also participated in that round.
The company also raised a $40 million Series A round led by Infinity Venture Partners in 2017. Other investors in its Series A round had included Vertex Asia Fund, Yahoo Japan, Majuven, Golden Summit Capital and KTB Ventures.
Amid the global pandemic, with many countries on lockdown, M17 has seen an increase in artist and user onboarding, and higher user interaction, the statement said.
Fortune Sohn, managing director at Stonebridge Ventures, said in the statement that M17 was already the largest pure-play live streaming company in Japan, and it was posting an “astonishing rate of growth.”
M17 said it has the largest live streaming platform in developed Asia, with a more than 60 per cent market share by revenue in Japan and Taiwan.
Consultancy Frost & Sullivan forecast in a 2019 report that the live streaming market would grow to $22.09 billion by 2022 globally, from $8.25 billion in 2018.
M17’s estimated annual revenue is $180 million, according to data from Owler.
The company was formed in April 2017 after the merger of Singapore-based Paktor Group and Taiwan-based 17 Media, a regional live streaming company. The company’s main dating applications are Paktor and Goodnight.
M17 had planned to list its Paktor dating and networking app on the New York Stock Exchange in a $115 million IPO in 2018, but it withdrew the application after the IPO roadshow only raised $60.1 million.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on May 12 to include a comment from Vertex.