Today Tudou announced the closing of a new round of funding, an investment of USD 57 million. As far as we know, this the largest round of funding ever for a Chinese internet company. In total Tudou has raised USD 85 million over the past 3 years.
Below the English version of the press release that was sent out to the media today:
Recently there have been lots of rumors in the media about our funding. Originally we didn’t plan on making a big announcement, but it seems our silence only generated more questions and speculation, so we thought it best to issue an official statement confirming that we have closed our fourth round of funding. Our “Series D” (as they call it) was for an additional $57 million USD, which we see as sufficient to support our expansion plans for a significant time going forward. We were very happy that our existing investors decided to double-down on us by re-investing in this round, and we were also very happy to welcome a couple of new investors, family and venture funds from Singapore and the US who prefer to remain unnamed for now. In addition to our earlier funding rounds (500k, 8.5M, and 19M), we’ve now raised a total of $85 million.
Everybody knows that video sharing websites require a huge amount of bandwidth and servers to maintain a good service level to users; and as the #1 video sharing website in China, Tudou needs the most bandwidth and servers of all. Users constantly want faster delivery and higher resolution videos, which although expensive we are happily doing by rolling out H.264 high definition videos across the entire site. With over 100 million clip views & page views to over 10 million unique users every day & over 60 million unique users every month, we support a huge amount of high definition videos streaming out to about a third of China’s 175 million broadband internet users.
We know $57 million sounds like a lot – and is probably the largest amount ever raised for a pure-play Chinese Internet company in one round – but actually we turned down offers of even higher funding, because this industry is not about raising more money. We believe that the healthy development of China’s video sharing industry is about providing better services to users, advertisers, and content creators. This round of funding will allow Tudou to create a business model that lets media-hungry consumers demand their entertainment anytime and anywhere, allows advertisers to target demographics precisely and accurately, and fosters innovative content creators to receive just compensation.
Video sharing has come to a critical junction in its development as an industry. With this new round of funding, we now have the resources to patiently build up a solid business model and a healthy, viable ecosystem for all of our partners.
Happy 3rd Birthday Tudou, and check out our nominees of our first Tudou Film Festival online, as well as videos of the April 26th party at Moganshan.