Taiwanese start-up 17 Media (17 直播), a photo-sharing and live streaming app that has more than 15 million users worldwide, yesterday said it had sold an unspecified controlling stake to Singapore-based dating app operator Paktor Group (拍拖) to expand its presence in Asia.
The investment marked the second cash injection into 17 Media this year, after the firm in May received 150 million yuan (US$21.8 million) from China’s LeTV Sports Culture Develop Venture Capital (樂視體育創投).
“The agreement with Paktor enables 17 Media to gain access to a platform with a large and growing consumer base within the Singapore-based company,” 17 Media founder Jeff Huang (黃立成) said in a joint news statement.
Paktor chief executive officer Joseph Phua (潘杰賢) said the investment represents a milestone for Paktor to tap into the growing social entertainment industry by collaborating with 17 Media’s live streaming service.
The transaction was completed on Nov. 1 and the company received a “substantial cash injection” from Paktor, the Taiwanese firm’s public relationships official Jessie Wu (吳承禧) said by telephone yesterday, declining to disclose the amount.
Under the agreement, Phua has taken on the role of chief executive officer at 17 Media, while Huang remains its chairman, Wu said.
Wu said Paktor is to help 17 Media promote its brand in Paktor’s Southeast Asian markets, such as Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
The cash injection will enrich the company’s content production, help seek strategic partnerships and expand the number of engineers in Taiwan, she added.
Huang, best known as the founder of hip-hop groups LA Boyz and Machi, established MachiPoPo Inc (麻吉波波), parent of 17 Media, in June last year with an operational fund of NT$150 million, Ministry of Economic Affairs data showed.
The company’s mobile application allows users to live stream videos and interact with other users. Users can receive as much as US$100 in 17 Media shares if audience numbers reach a certain target while live streaming.
The app received a positive market response when it was launched in June last year.
It was temporarily removed from both iOS and Android app stores in September last year, as many users reportedly streamed inappropriate content to attract viewers.
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