Tencent leads Series C round for China’s square dance app Tangdou

Square dancing in China. Photo: Pixabay

Chinese square dancing app Tangdou has raised an undisclosed amount in a Series C round led by internet giant Tencent Holdings, it said in a statement issued by its financial advisor TH Capital.

The round was also joined by existing investors GGV Capital, IDG Capital and Shunwei Capital, which is backed by Xiaomi founder Lei Jun, bringing the total amount of funds raised to nearly $100 million. Tangdou last raised a $5 million Series B+ round in 2017, after bagging a $15-million Series B in 2016.

Square dancing, an exercise routine performed to music in squares, plazas or parks across Chinese cities, is a popular activity among the middle-aged and elderly. The square dancing community is a huge one, with over 100 million square dancers, each team comprising between 40 and 50 dancers.

Founded in 2015, Tangdou has pivoted from being a square dancing tutorial app to a content app, targeting these middle-aged and elderly users. It even added an in-app messaging feature for users to organise offline meetups.

The startup claims it reaches 200 million users and has organised over 4,000 offline meetups every month, attracting 500,000 attendees. In addition, over 400,000 users consumed videos and articles on Tangdou’s app, spending an average of 33 minutes daily on the app.

According to Tangdou CEO Zhang Yuan, the startup has begun to explore e-commerce, offline experiential marketing, tourism, and dance training as part of its commercialisation process. “We will continue to focus on developing our in-app content in order to create a better offline and online community for our elderly users,” he said.

Tencent Investment managing partner Jeffrey Li said that Tangdou presents a new way for the middle-aged and elderly people to socialise as well as to form a stable social circle from square dancing.

“As the Chinese mobile internet enters the ‘second half’ of its development phase, the markets for maternal and child care, middle-age and elderly users have become the new red-hot verticals,” said GGV Capital managing partner Jenny Lee. The VC firm had previously invested in Tangdou in 2017.

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