Tencent invests $125m in Chinese online comic platform Kuaikan

FILE PHOTO: WeChat mascots are displayed inside Tencent office at the TIT Creativity Industry Zone in Guangzhou, China May 9, 2017. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings has invested $125 million in Beijing-based Kuaikan World, an online marketplace that allows users to buy e-comic books, according to a WeChat announcement.

Founded in 2014 by Anni Chen, Kuaikan World runs a comic app and a community for comic fans.

Its app, Kuaikan Comics, has acquired more than 200 million users since its establishment. Among them, 40 million are monthly active users and half of its users were born in the 2000s, said Kuaikan World.

The company will use the funding to support authors on its platform by monetizing their creations. Kuaikan World will continue to increase capital allocation in R&D and staff, in the use of AI and big data to enhance the development and effectiveness of content creation capabilities, becoming the future technology-oriented company in the future.

In addition to the investment, Kuaikan World and Tencent will also cooperate at the business level in areas of user traffic and intellectual property, said Anni Chen, the Founder of Kuaikan.

“Tencent is optimistic with the long-term development of the animation industry. That’s why we have been investing in the upstream and downstream of the animation industry in the past years, covering numerous comic marketplaces and studios that produce comics and cartoons,’ said Jeffrey Li Zhaohui, Managing Partner of Tencent Investment.

In 2017, Kuaikan closed its $177 million Series D financing round which was then the largest fundraising deal in China’s comics industry, according to the company’s website.

The financing round was led by international capital fund Coatue Management. Other participants included Xianghe Capital and China Media Capital.