56.com Finds $20 Million In Funding
In several areas, Google’s the hands-down, for-the-foreseeable-future winner in America. But in China, that’s not the case, and so a new $20 million investment in video-sharing site 56.com seems like a decent use of money.
YouTube isn’t even a competitor in this market, and Matt Marshall notes, “Tudou commands 22 percent of searches for video on China’s most popular search engine Baidu, compared to 56.com, which gets 19 percent.” So if $20 million can bring in three percent, 56.com would (at least temporarily) be set.
Making onlookers even more confident in the company’s chances are its backers – Adobe Systems Incorporated, the CID Group, Steamboat Ventures, and Sequoia Capital. Sequoia Capital backed YouTube itself before Google stepped in (as well as Apple, PayPal, and Yahoo), so it should recognize a good video site.
Further comparisons to YouTube were brought up in Marshall’s interview with Jay56.com’s president and chief financial officer. “He said the levels of video being uploaded match the levels seen by YouTube when it was acquired last year,” reports Marshall. “56.com now has 30 million registered users, he said.”
In a country where Google’s been crippled, funding 56.com definitely doesn’t look like a bad idea.