Baidu’s video business goes independent and raises $155M from investors

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Source:   —  April 22, 2016, at 1:29 PM

Following the spin-off of its student Q&A app Zuoyebang latest September, Baidu Video has gone independent this week and raised RMB one billion ($155 million) in capital.

Baidu’s video business goes independent and raises $155M from investors

Baidu, China’s Google and an Uber investor, has continued its policy of spinning off promising business units. Following the spin-off of its student Q&A app Zuoyebang latest September, Baidu Video has gone independent this week and raised RMB one billion ($155 million) in capital.

The funding circular for the service, which claims three hundred million monthly viewers, including Baidu and investors Shanghai New Culture Media Group, Tianshen Yule, Softbank Asia Infrastructure Fund and Redpoint Ventures.

“Baidu Video aims to become the no one professional generated content video platform in China. [Baidu Video] will focus on platform development and continue to allow our audiences with video look for and content aggregation services,” a spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Baidu Video’s move to independence comes while Alibaba is in the process of finalizing its $3.5 billion acquisition of Youku Tudou, the company behind two of China’s most favorite online video services. Formed from a billion merger between Youku and Tudou, both of which continue to work as separate sites, research indicates that Youku Tudou has a narrow lead over others in the video space, but there’s plenty of contest applying pressure.

Baidu Video aside, Baidu also owns iQiyi, which it plans to create private in a deal that could be worth up to $2.8 billion. Then there’s the ambitious LeEco (previously LeTV) which started out in video streaming but has branched out into phones, sports and even electric cars through a partnership with Faraday Future. Making Baidu Video independent removes the drag of a capital intensive business from Baidu’s finances and lets the company act love a more nimble startup that can lift capital and draw on experience from third-party investors that it wouldn’t interact with as a Baidu business unit. In theory, at least.

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