PPLive raises $250M for Web TV streaming

Faith Merino · February 4, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/16ac

The company scores its latest round of capital from Softbank

China’s largest online TV service, PPLive, confirmed Friday that it has raised $250 million from Softbank Corporation.  

The company’s flagship PPTV is like the Chinese Hulu, streaming both live and video-on-demand content aggregated from 120 Chinese stations, with a library of 300 live channels and 20,000 video-on-demand channels.  The site has an active monthly user base of 104 million, representing some 43% of all Chinese Web users.  Even more surprising is the average amount of time that each user spends on the site per day: two hours and 30 minutes.  The unusually lengthy amount of time that users spend on the site is largely attributable to the site’s live-chatting feature.

PPTV was created in 2005 by then 26-year-old Bill Yao, who built the service while studying for his Master’s degree at Huazhong University of Science and Technology.  He ended up dropping out of his Master’s program to focus full-time on his business, and he now maintains the position of company president, where he has helped invent ALM streaming media technology and core algorithms for large-scale networks for video transmission.  The company has some 50 patents in online video streaming and distribution.

PPTV is powered by PPCloud, which has been designed to allow millions of Web users to watch a video concurrently while maintaining high quality and speed.

'We believe that online video is perhaps the largest industry disruption for the TMT sector in the next five to ten years. Softbank is looking for a company who can not only win in China but also can be scaled to the other markets,” said PPLive CEO Vincent Tao in a prepared statement.

The company has raised a total of $286.5 million, including a $15 million Series C round in December 2009 and a $21 million Series B round in 2007.  Existing investors include SAIF Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ DragonFund, and BlueRun Ventures. 

Image source: PPTV.com

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