China’s Search Engine Giant Baidu-Backed Video Platform Raises US$100M In Series B Round

Chinese content video platform Baidu Video has secured US$100 million in series B financing round led by its parent company and the country’s search engine giant Baidu Inc.

The latest fundraising round saw the participation of industrial investment company Yintai Group, Shanghai-based venture capital firm Jadex Capital and quantitative investment-focused Gfund Management Co. Ltd.

Aiming to become top professional generated content (PGC) video provider in China, the company plans to use the proceeds to produce original video service, attach advanced technology such as artificial intelligence, and lift the platform’s video and short video services in particular.

China’s short video market has grown rapidly. The market was valued at RMB5.73 billion (US$900 million) in 2017, registering 184% increase compared with 2016, according to a report by Chinese market research and consulting company iResearch.

"The rise of the short form video is in line with the content consumption behaviour of China’s mobile-driven internet users. As their time has become more fragmented, they long for something short, but contain enough entertaining information," said a report conducted by consulting firm iiMedia Research this year.

The viewership of short-form videos, videos less than 20 minutes in length, had reached 242 million in 2017 and is forecast to hit 353 million by the end of 2018, the report added.

In April, Baidu along with China’s social media giant Tencent Holdings had invested RMB617 million (US$98.2 million) in the series A round of Chinese short video news platform Pear Video.

Founded in 2016, Beijing-based Baidu Video provides video search and PGC video services in China. The company has more than 800 million videos, with a download volume contributed by online mobile users exceeding 600 million. At present, Baidu Video has up to 70 million monthly average users at the mobile end.