Shanghai-based Alfilo Brands, a cultural intellectual property company, announces that it has completed US$16 million in a Series A+ funding round led by Sequoia Capital China with participation from Netherlands-based investment firm Zephyr Capital, according to Chinese media outlet 36Kr on Monday.
Proceeds will be used to acquire top global cultural IPs (intellectual property) and build teams at home and abroad.
Founded in 2013, Alfilo Brands hold exclusive licenses to cultural IPs in Greater China from global leading museums, including the British Museum, the Met Museum of Art, Victoria and Albert Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the National Gallery in London and BBC Earth.
The company has recently received exclusive authorization and operation right from the British Museum in North America.
By obtaining the exclusive license to those cultural IPs in Greater China, Alfilo Brands can do derivative works on that art, exclusive sales rights both online and offline and the import of collection of replicas.
Apart from IP derivative works, Alfilo Brands also cooperate with other brands focused on IPs. The firm has signed contracts with Amazon, Estée Lauder, L’Oréal, Chinese cosmetic brand Perfect Diary, etc.
The Forbidden City, also known as Palace Museum, one of China’s largest and oldest museums, attracted 407,000 visitors during the Chinese spring festival in 2019, according to Chinese state-owned media Xinhua News Agency.
With people’s great interest in museums, the commercialization of museums gets attention.
Shan Jixiang, former director and curator of the Palace Museum, said that the revenue of cultural and creative products of the museum reached RMB1.5 billion (US$21.3 million) in 2017.
Venture Partner at Sequoia Capital China Su Kai said, "with the competition in brand and retail industry intensified, the development and use of IPs are going to be an important competitive power in the future."
Alfilo Brands has so far completed three rounds of funding. It raised RMB50 million (US$7.09 million) in a series A funding round led by investment firm SIG China in 2017. It closed an angel round in 2016.