Caixin
Aug 24, 2021 03:27 AM
BUSINESS

Tencent-Backed Comics App Kuaikan Raises $240 Million

What’s new: Kuaikan, China’s largest comics platform backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., raised $240 million in a record fundraising deal for China’s comics industry.

Investors include CCB International, South Korean app marketplace One Store and existing backers including Tencent and Coatue. The new funding round valued the company at $1.25 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Kuaikan was founded in 2014 by cartoonist Chen Anni as a digital platform for original comics created by Chinese artists. The app has 50 million monthly active users.

Rather than selling the company, Kuaikan wants to grow as an independent business and is considering an initial public offering, Chen told Caixin.

The background: Most of the company’s revenue comes from the comic business, including advertising, memberships, content payment, IP authorization, and it has turned profitable, Chen told Caixin.

The company plans to invest its profit to expand the business, such as comic drama, animation film and television, Chen said. The company also plans to invest 1 billion yuan over the next three years to support original comics and another 1 billion yuan to develop comics-based short videos.

China had 390 million comics users in 2019, and the number is expected to grow to 420 million in 2021, according to a report by iResearch. Both the user scale and the growth rate of online comics market are slowing, iResearch said.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use. To read the full story in Chinese, click here.

Contact reporter Denise Jia (huijuanjia@caixin.com) and editor Bob Simison (bobsimison@caixin.com)

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