Cheetah Mobile’s Live.me raises $50 mn from ByteDance

MUMBAI: Chinese mobile internet company Cheetah Mobile’s live streaming platform Live.me has entered into a definitive agreement to raise $50 million from Chinese ByteDance in Series B financing.

The company said that the funds will be used to expand Live.me into more local languages and other content genres, to reach an even broader audience in India.

In addition, Live.me will have priority to provide live streaming services to Bytedance in overseas markets should Bytedance start to integrate live streaming features into its products in these markets. This transaction is subject to certain closing conditions.

Live.me is already one of the biggest live-streaming platforms in India in terms of users. Since its debut, the Live.me team has been focused on cultivating unique talent and delivering creative local content to audiences in India and around the world.

Following its debut in India earlier this year, Live.me is now pursuing an aggressive expansion strategy by setting up a new office in Mumbai and building strategic partnerships with local influencers and talent agencies — with the goal of creating popular content for users in India.

Cheetah Mobile claimed that Live.me has experienced exponential growth in India, witnessing 20 times jump in its user base in just 6 months.

Cheetah Mobile CEO Sheng Fu stated, “We are delighted to welcome Bytedance as a strategic partner for our fast-growing, live streaming business. Live.me has become a popular live streaming platform among American young adults, with a track record of strong growth in both user base and revenue contribution. Bytedance’s investment will accelerate the growth of Live.me’s live video and short video businesses.”

“We’re thrilled to embark on a new journey with our strategic partners Bytedance for a stronger community full of diversified high-quality content and talents. We encourage the local digital content industry to dream bigger with us, to transform the way content is presented and explore the endless possibilities of a live-broadcasting platform. India is our No.1 destination in Asia and we see great potential in the market. We will be officially launching a brand new short video app in India, and hope that it will create a new destination for fun short videos,” said Live.me CEO Yuki He.

Live.me has more than 35 million global users. According to Cheetah Lab, Cheetah Mobile’s mobile data research group, about 47.1% users on the app belong to the age group of 18-24 years followed by 34.4% users in the age bracket of 25-35 years. In India, Live.me is one of the most beloved live-streaming apps and home to over 200 influencers, including popular models, singers and youth artists, such as RJ Kalpesh, Diamond, Vishakha Sodha, Jagmeet Singh, Shahzan Mujeeb, Anupma Singh, Shruti Shetty, Shruti Sharma, Nalin Swami, Devyani, Karishma Rawat, Anjali Tatrari, and Bhoomika Mirchandani.