Cheetah Mobile property Live.me raises US$60 million to win live-streaming race

Kevin McSpadden
live.me_funding_round

As part of the deal, Cheetah Mobile’s equity stake will decrease from 90 to 70 per cent

What a birthday gift! While raising US$60 million is impressive for any company, when the company is only one year old, that is a staggering number.

Live.me, a livestreaming company incorporated in the Cayman Islands but largely owned by the Chinese app developer Cheetah Mobile, announced the gigantic round yesterday.

Investors in the company included Evolution Media China, Gobi Ventures, IDG Capital, Matrix Partners China and Welight Capital. Cheetah Mobile also participated in the round.

The deal resulted in Cheetah’s stake in Live.me dropping from 90 per cent to 70 percent and Cheetah still remains control of the company.

“We are delighted to welcome Matrix, EMC, Gobi, IDG and Welight as partners for our fast growing, global live video streaming business,” said Sheng Fu, Cheetah Mobile’s CEO in an official statement.

“We will have more resources to build Live.me into a global social community through partnering with top financial institutions.”

Live.me has a strong presence in the US and Fu said the company will use the money to improve its grow overseas. It will also invest in R&D and operations.

A couple of days ago, Live.me released a video to celebrate their first anniversary. In it, the company claims to have 20 million users. It also claims 200,000 hours of daily video content and 2 billion ‘likes’ of said videos.

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Like other mobile live streaming platforms, people can support the performers they enjoy by buying them gifts (Live.me says 800 million gifts were bought over the last year).

An advantageous quirk?

An interesting quirk for Live.me is its owner Cheetah Mobile is a Chinese company, giving it market access to a country that has enjoyed an explosion in the popularity of live-streaming (although an article from Technode suggests this phenomenon may be waning).

Coupled with the presence in China is the reality that it is quite popular in the US and can legitimately compete in mind-share with giants like YouTube and Facebook.

This is highlighted by the fact that 81 per cent of Cheetah Mobile’s 623 million monthly active users come from outside of the country.

Facebook has recently come under fire for violent crimes being broadcast on its platform, forcing the dark-side of live-streaming to become an issue in society.

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Those familiar with the app News Republic can call themselves Cheetah Mobile users. The company’s products also includes Clean Master and Battery Doctor.

Copyright: gmast3r / 123RF Stock Photo

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