Shanghai Media Group Leads $108M Round In NetEase’s Music Unit

Chinese media conglomerate Shanghai Media Group has led a RMB750 million (US$108 million) series A round in NetEase Cloud Music, a music and radio platform operated by Chinese Internet portal NetEase Inc.

Zhongjin Jiatai Fund, a fund managed by an investment arm of China International Capital Co., Ltd, and another Chinese private equity firm Mango Wenchuang, also participated in the round, which valued the company at RMB8 billion (US$1.16 billion) post-money.

Once completed, NetEase Cloud Music will become another technology unicorn, a term used to describe private technology companies valued at US$1 billion or more, in China.

The platform was launched in 2013, allowing users to listen and download music and albums online. Its revenue comes from membership fees, sales of digital albums, data services, and online advertisements. As of July last year, its number of users has reached 200 million, up 100% year-on-year.

NetEase previously held 100% share of the music unit, and its shares will be diluted to 85% to 88% after the financing round.

The company plans to use the proceeds to obtain more copyrights, build up its team, signs more independent studios and singers, as well as enhance its promotions among students and middle-class users around the country.