Chinese internet video site gets VC fund

MUMBAI:, China’s largest Internet video website has launched its advertising platform to enable advertisers to easily incorporate brand advertising into Tudou videos.

In conjunction with this launch, Tudou received $19 million in venture capital funding, led by Capital Today and General Catalyst Partners with participation from new and existing investors Granite Global, IDG China, JAFCO Asia, KTB Ventures and JAIC.

The funding will be used to further expand Tudou’s technical infrastructure to serve the rapidly growing demand for its service, as well as expand advertising relationships with some of the world’s most recognized brands already advertising on the Tudou network, including Adidas, Ford, KFC, Lenovo, Motorola, Nike, Pepsi, Samsung, and Sony.

Despite several domestic and foreign competitors, Tudou has continually grown its market leadership position. According to AC Nielsen, 40 million Chinese Internet users are currently watching more than 1.2 billion videos each month off of the Tudou platform and according to iResearch, Tudou now accounts for over half of all valid visiting of online video sharing in China. Tudou’s users also spend the most time per visit of any major video site at approximately 40 minutes per session.

This engaged audience enables Tudou and its investors to effectively capitalize on the growing Chinese advertising market opportunity.

Until now, advertisers have had incomplete and ad-hoc solutions to target internet video viewers in China. As Tudou accounts for the majority of all video sharing traffic in China, this platform enables advertisers to directly incorporate their advertising message into Tudou videos via a single turn-key solution. Tudou’s platform allows advertisers to create content for a high emotional impact, and only target consumers that meet their specific location and behavioral requirements.

“As our audience in China continues to grow and spend more time on Tudou, there will be tremendous potential for advertisers to increase brand awareness with a large, absorbed Chinese audience. We are excited to work with our investment partners to create value for our audience, advertisers and content partners,” said Tudou founder and CEO Gary Wang.

In addition to attracting advertisers seeking to increase spending in online video, has formed several highly unique content partnerships with traditional Chinese media outlets, such as CCTV, Shanghai Media Group, Beijing TV, Hunan TV and SouthEast TV. These media companies are tapping Tudou’s compelling user generated content for television broadcast. These partnerships effectively reverse those in the US where online video services are vehicles for distributing content generated by traditional television.

“Tudou has continually made the right decisions to maintain its leadership position in China’s online video market and dictate the actions of its competition. With online video advertising in China projected to be one of the highest growth sectors, we are extremely excited by this investment opportunity,” said General Catalyst Partners’ David Orfao.

“Tudou is a new life style where we see millions of people spend hours and hours to watch their own shows. It is a cool place where new stars will be born, and a new media where eyeballs will eventually turn into advertising dollars,” said Capital Today’s Kathy Xu.