Live webcasting social platform 17 Media has closed an investment round of RMB150 million ($23 million) from LeSports Innovation Fund and its partners. The funds will be used to help expand the company’s reach in the greater China region, as well as widening its user-generated content dimensions.
17 Media was founded by Jeffrey Huang and Tai-Yuan Chen in 2015. It allows users to do live broadcasts whenever and wherever they want, while interacting with other users in real time.
The company said it has hit more than 10 million downloads within eight months to become the most downloaded iOS and Android App, and claimed that a popular webcasting presenter on its platform makes as much as US$6,000 every month.
“We’re grateful for LeSports Innovation Fund’s recognition. 17 will keep offering good services to our numerous social webcasting users while working with LeSports to provide diverse content of entertainment, sports, games, movies and culture & creativity, and to explore more ways of interaction on the platform,” said founder Jeffery Huang in an official statement.
17 Media integrates user generated content (UGC) with social networking, allowing users to manage their brand and fan-base while creating a new business model where platforms share profits with UGC creators.
With this model, the social webcasting app has been actively expanding its market in the Chinese-speaking world and has rapidly gained international presence, as well as attention from investors.
The start-up previously received funding from Infinity Venture Partners and Prometheus Capital – a venture and private equity fund established by Wang Sicong, son of Asia’s richest man, Dalian Wanda Group‘s chairman Wang Jianlin.
To comply with the region’s strict content filtering, and to ensure the quality and safety of the broadcast content, 17 Media has designed a multi-layered filtering mechanism. The company has introduced SKYEYE in the first layer – a monitoring system that is capable of preliminary filtering. Furthermore, tens of 17 Media’s staff are on standby 24 hours to monitor all the broadcasts.