Shunya International Brand Consulting (Beijing) Co., Ltd, a marketing and communications services firm, has agreed to acquire over 50% of Beijing Milaiwu Network Technology Co., the developer behind popular Chinese video streaming platform Inke.
No financial details were disclosed, but the company said the investment will be all cash. Two months ago, Sunya and Inke said they would establish a joint venture to develop marketing solutions on Inke's live streaming platform. The investment would give Shunya control of Inke, and provide a popular channel for its marketing clients.
Founded in 2015, Inke is among a number of popular live video streaming apps where millions of young Chinese can watch Karaoke singing and other acts by follow users who post their performances on the platform. According to research firm Analysys, the platform recorded monthly active users of over 16 million in January this year, making it the number one app of its kind in terms of monthly active users.
The valuation of Inke has increased 18.5 times during an eight-month period. In January 2016, Shenzhen-listed online gaming firm Beijing Kunlun Tech Co., Ltd. acquired an 18% stake in Inke for RMB68 million (US$10 million). In September, Beijing Kunlun sold a 3% stake to Jiaxing Light Letter Investment Management, an obscure investment entity, for RMB210 million (US$30 million), according to a filing submitted by Beijing Kunlun.
Inke raised a series A round worth tens of million RMB in 2015 from investors including SAIF Partners, GSR Ventures and Shanghai Buttonwood Capital. The company later sold stakes to Beijing Kunlun Tech and GX Capital in 2016.
Founded in 2007, Shunya provides marketing services and consulting services in 34 cities in China, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Zhuhai. The company was listed on the ChiNext, a NASDAQ-style board of the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, in February 2017. It recorded revenue of RMB470 million (US$68 million) and operating profit of RMB81 million (US$11 million) in 2016.