17 Media Raises $10 Million Series A for Photo Sharing and Live Video Streaming App
Infinity Venture Partners and Prometheus Capital Back Fast-Growing App for Android and iOS, Powered by Top Celebrities and Influencers — Six Million Downloads in 60 Days with Two Million Daily Active Users
LOS ANGELES and TAIPEI, Taiwan(06 Nov 2015)
17 Media, LLC (http://www.17.media/), the company behind the fast-growing photo sharing and live video streaming 17 App, announced today that it has closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by Infinity Venture Partners and Prometheus Capital. Co-founded by rapper-turned-serial-entrepreneur Jeff Huang and serial hit app creator, Popo Chen, the 17 App is a video streaming platform enabling entertainers, celebrities, and influencers around the world to control their own content and audiences, while also earning revenue for generating online views. The latest funding will be used to power a platform upgrade and international expansion for the 17 App, which has had over six million downloads all without paid marketing. This ten-person startup has rapidly captured the imagination of Asia’s mobile-centric youths, giving birth to a new category of social media and topping the App Store charts in seven countries in the last month alone: the U.S., China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Macau, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
As the founder of hip-hop groups Machi and L.A. Boyz, Huang is a pioneer of hip-hop music and culture in Asia, and has leveraged social media to cultivate his fanbase by sharing photos and video. He quickly realized that, unlike traditional media, social media has failed to compensate the very artists who drive traffic — and that’s how the idea for the17 App was born.
“After the success of YouTube’s content creation and advertising model, I thought hard about how to accomplish this for the photo sharing and video streaming space,” said Huang. “We came up with a revenue-sharing model that fairly compensates content producers and encourages them to share more quality content, thereby creating a more attractive platform for viewers.”
To make his vision a reality, Huang teamed up with Popo Chen, a well-known Taiwanese app developer who already had a series of hit apps under his belt. Chen developed a unique media app that allows users to share photos and stream live video, with built-in analytics and a revenue sharing model. Unlike other popular streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat, 17 App compensates users for the content they create by splitting advertisement revenues, thus creating a positive loop for higher quality content.
“Asia is not only the core market for smartphones, but is now becoming a hotbed for new innovations, particularly in mobile video streaming and advertising,” said Akio Tanaka, Managing Partner of Infinity Venture Partners. “Just as WeChat and Line transformed instant messaging from sterile tools to social and commerce messaging platforms, Jeff and Popo are changing the world of mobile photo and video, making a vast impact on the digital media community.”
Tanaka will take a board seat at 17 Media, along with Wang Sicong, Chairman of Prometheus Capital. The two will work together with the co-founders to help move the company to the next stage of growth.
“17 App has won the hearts of young people in Asia, making it the number one app across Asia including China, the largest app market in the world,” said Wang Sicong, Chairman of Prometheus Capital. “I am convinced that with Jeff's vision and Popo's execution, 17Media is poised to become a major player in China and the world. I am excited to be part of the team to make it happen.”
Notable seed investors: Lawrence Ng, former founder of Oversee.net; Jaime Lin, partner at AppWorks, and Xu Le of High Level Limited.
The 17 App is now available to download in the iTunes App Store and other third party app marketplaces. To download and learn more about the 17 App, visit http://www.17.media/.
About 17 Media, LLC:
17 Media is a live video streaming and real-time content sharing mobile application for celebrities, entertainers, and influencers that allows users to create and share live streaming video and photos, and earn royalties for personal content shared. The company was founded by Jeff Huang, serial entrepreneur and successful entertainer, and mobile app veteran Tai “Popo” Chen.