GSR has already successfully invested in, among others, Inke, Chinese ride hailing app Didi, and China food delivery service Erlema, while Mayfield has previously invested in U.S. ridesharing app Lyft.
MeMe is a live streaming platform that enables 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. The service launched in Taiwan in October 2016, and will launch in other territories in 2017.
"As far as monetization goes, you can think about this as digital tips for performers who have hyper local appeal," commented Mayfield managing director Tim Chang. "If you bid high enough, you might be the preferred fan or the one who gets to make a request. It mimics real-life behavior at clubs, where you buy someone a bottle of champagne."
As part of the funding agreement, Next Entertainment plans to leverage Inke's experience in the live streaming market to deliver more tailor-made and interactive services to global users. Spearheaded by CEO Andy Zhong, who is also the brains behind FunPlus, the company's ambitious plans for cross-market expansion will also attempt to reverse the usual trend of Chinese companies adopting western business models by globalizing a model that has been highly successful in China.
"We're excited about live streaming as a form," says Zhong. "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.
"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."
GSR's managing director Richard Lim added in a statement, "As an investor in Inke we saw its incredible growth in China. 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."
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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SOURCE Next Entertainment