SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Next Entertainment, a global live broadcasting platform company founded by proven Internet entrepreneur and FunPlus founder Andy Zhong, today announced a $25 million Series A investment to enable the company’s global expansion, including hiring talent in San Francisco, Tokyo, Taipei, and Beijing. Next Entertainment was incubated by Inke, the Chinese mobile live streaming giant, and the investment arm of FunPlus, a mobile social game company which was acquired by Century Holdings for almost $1 billion earlier this year. Other Series A investors include GSR Ventures, Mayfield, and Signia Venture Partners.
Inke is China’s leading mobile live streaming platform. According to app analytics company App Annie, Inke’s unique platform enabling streamers to directly monetize viewers contributed to it breaking into the worldwide top 50 grossing charts in Q2 of 2016. The partnership between Inke and FunPlus combines Inke’s proven platform with Zhong’s experience operating mobile businesses successfully both inside and outside of China.
“We’re excited about live streaming as a form. By building ways for content creators to engage and interact with their fans in real time and to earn money doing it, Inke has changed people’s lives. We’re going to expand that globally,” said Andy Zhong, Next Entertainment Founder and CEO. “There’s a revolution happening in the entertainment industry, and we’re happy that our partners at Inke and our Series A investors are part of it.”
“As an investor in Inke we saw its incredible growth in China,” said Richard Lim, Managing Director at GSR. “Their partnership with a proven east-west entrepreneur like Andy is very exciting, and we’re thrilled to be able to work with them both again.”
Next Entertainment’s mobile app MeMe leverages their live broadcast platform to enable anyone to stream, interact with their audience, build a following, and get paid to do it. Viewers on MeMe can interact with performers and other viewers, showing their support, and increasing their own following and profile along the way. MeMe launched in Taiwan in November 2016, and will launch in other territories in 2017.
About Next Entertainment
Next Entertainment is a venture-funded company focused on changing the way people find, watch, and interact with video. The company’s investors include Inke, FunPlus, GSR Ventures, and the Mayfield Fund. It has employees in Taiwan, Tokyo, Beijing, and San Francisco.
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