Tencent Invests in Chinese Comic App Kuaikan
On August 27, Annie Chen, founder and CEO of Kuaikan, a comic art platform in China, announced in an internal letter that the company has received an investment of $125 million from Tencent Holdings.
Founded in December 2014, Kuaikan is a comic platform that mainly targets the younger generation. As of January 2019, the comics app had over 170 million users in total, with 40 million monthly users, owning more than half of the market share for comics.
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Ever since its launch, the comics app has received several rounds of over $100 million in funding. In addition to receiving three rounds of financing from Sequoia Capital China, the company also won the favor of Bytedance in 2017 during its Series C round of financing.
“Tencent is optimistic about the comics and animation industry in the long run. Over the years, Tencent has invested in the upstream and downstream of the industrial chain, including many platforms and comics, animation studios, etc. The investment this time reflects the continuation of this strategy.” said Li Zhaohui, investment managing partner of Tencent Holdings.
In recent years, comics have become an increasingly lucrative market, largely due to the prosperity of TV and film adaptations of different comics. One of the series adapted from the works on the platform is called “Take My Brother Away”, which became popular in 2018. The main development strategy for Kuaikan is “IP+Community”. The platform has put a great deal of effort into increasing the support for original Chinese comics, exploring quality creators and developing IP through the whole industrial chain including merchandise, films and TV dramas.