YouTube, Twitch co-founders back Taiwanese online media startup The News Lens

Photo: The News Lens

The News Lens, a Taipei-based independent media platform publishing articles in Chinese language, has closed a Series C investment from a number of high-profile individuals and investment firms including YouTube’s co-founder Steve Chen and Kevin Lin, co-founder of Twitch, an Amazon subsidiary, the company announced on June 20.

Other investors participating in the round include Charles Huang, venture partner at Sinovation North America Inc and co-founder of music gaming platform Guitar Hero; Hazel Asset Management; and existing backers Dorcas Investments, Walden International, and North Base Media.

Founded in 2013, The News Lens, which is present in Taipei and Hong Kong and employs 80 personnel, said it will use the funds for international expansion, optimisation of current brands and for in-house technology initiatives.

Joey Chung, CEO and co-founder, The News Lens, said the expansion will be through partnerships or acquisition of other Chinese-language content producers.

“Our goal is to gradually build the most effective and biggest digital-media company for global Chinese millennials and become the leading digital media group in Taiwan within this year,” said Chung.

“We will use a combination of technology and capital to position TNL as a market leader, both in Taiwan and across Asia, and are extremely excited to connect early at this crucial stage with these key international investors and entrepreneurs.”

Prior to the latest financing round, The News Lens had raised a $2-million Series B led by Wiskey Capital and North Base Media. It raised its Series A in May 2015 at more than $3 million, according to media reports.

Also known as The TNL Media Group, the Taiwanese media company competes with other mainstream publications like Apple Daily and the Liberty Times.

It operates four brands: The News Lens for news and opinion; ELD for lifestyle and fashion; INSIDE for technology news and trends; and SportsVision for sports news and commentary.

Chung expects to roll out an in-house content-management system and data-analytics platform within 2018 to build strong products with a technical edge and significant revenue potential.

Also Read:

Taiwan’s 17 Media closes $23m funding from LeSports Innovation, partners

Baidu’s online video biz gets $155m funding from Shanghai New Culture Media Group