Paktor parent M17 Entertainment snags $25m funding from Madhead CEO, others

Taipei-headquartered M17 Entertainment, the parent company of PAKTOR, which pulled back from an NYSE-IPO listing earlier this year, Thursday said it had raised $25 million in a new 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 also participated in the round, the company announced.

M17 said it will use the new funding round to invest in research and development and to boost its technical capabilities, establish a well-rounded system, and to develop talent and diversify content and services in multiple markets.

After its botched IPO, Taipei-based live streaming and dating app group, had initially raised $40 million series B funding led by Infinity Venture Partners.

The company had been on track to raise $60 million via the listing. But its original target had been to raise $115 million, and this had to be lowered as the roadshow for the listing saw takers only for $60.1 million. But the two subsequent rounds of private capital infusion implies that the company, that claims to be the largest live streaming platform for developed Asia, has garnered as much capital, as it would have, via the NYSE listing.

Further, the company said it was expecting to close additional financing within the next two months.

M17 Entertainment said it expected to achieve $180 million in annual revenues this year, while the group’s revenue figure last year was announced at $90 million.

Other investors in its Series A round had included Vertex Asia Fund, Yahoo Japan, Majuven, Golden Summit Capital and KTB Ventures, among others.

“Since M17 Entertainment’s establishment, we have been committed in our mission to enable connections through a widely accessible live entertainment stage, made possible by our various platforms. (…) We aim to perfect the art of live entertainment, by developing and seamlessly integrating engaging content,” said Joseph Phua, co-founder and CEO of M17 Entertainment.

M17 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.

Currently, it has offices in Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, the US and Malaysia, among other locations.

Paktor, founded by Joseph Phua in May 2013, is a personal dating app often dubbed the “Tinder of Southeast Asia”.

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