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Indian short video app VMate gains USD 100 million from Alibaba to take on TikTok

Written by Song Jingli Published on 

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The app now has 30 million monthly active users.

Short video app VMate, which was launched in India in 2017 by Alibaba subsidiary UCWeb, confirmed that it has received funds exceeding USD 100 million from Alibaba, 36Kr reported on Thursday.

VMate will also join Alibaba’s Innovative Business Group, which also oversees products like the team cooperation tool Dingtalk, the smart speaker Tmall Genie, and the operating system AliOS, as well as an artificial intelligence lab.

36Kr reported that Alibaba will act as an external investor for VMate, rather than setting an internal budget for the app.

Zhu Shunyan, president of UCWeb, said during a media conference held on Wednesday that Alibaba will not rely on “spending big to gain market share” for VMate. He said the strategy has proven effective in China, but is not applicable in India, which is a market that needs to be explored cautiously. He added that Alibaba will not focus on directing user traffic to VMate via the UC mobile browser.

Cheng Daofang, CEO of VMate, revealed that the app now has 30 million monthly active users worldwide.

TikTok has 120 million monthly active users in India, according to India media outlet The Economic Times, citing data compiled by Statista.

Cheng said VMate wants to develop India’s short video community, which requires a more complicated business strategy than simply enlarging market share through hefty spending.

36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.

Contact the writer at [email protected]

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