Beijing-based Tangdou is an app which caters to the community of elderly Chinese women who like to dance to loud music on an open plaza or public square. The phenomenon is big enough to attract venture capital’s heavy hitters. Tangdou just closed its Series C round of financing with funds from Tencent, GGV Capital, Shunwei Capital, and IDG Capital, according to 36Kr on Monday.
The financial details of this round were not disclosed, but 36Kr‘s report said the company has by now raised more than USD 100 million.
This makes Tangdou (which means jelly beans in English) one of the survivors among more than 60 similar apps that had existed at some point in time, aiming to cash in on the phenomenon. Chinese like to dance in public squares for entertainment and exercise.
The way Tangdou went about to build its community is that it first attracted leaders in a dancing community by offering them free videos that taught new dance moves. These leaders later danced in public and uploaded videos of their dancing activities to the app. These videos further attracted other square-dancing lovers, who followed to view and learn and upload videos of their own performances.
Almost all well-known square-dancing teachers in China have joined the app to contribute original content, according to 36Kr.
After it closed its Series B round, Tangdou had begun offering more online tools including mini-programs inside WeChat that helped these square-dancing women connect and socialize offline.
A total of 4,000 offline activities are organized via the app on average each month, attracting more than 50,000 participants.
The elderly are expected to consume RMB 3.79 trillion (USD 564.7 trillion) in China, according to data by the Chinese Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics in 2018, cited by 36Kr. Despite this, it hasn’t been easy for Tangdou to monetize its user base.
Tangdou is open to advertisers, for example, merchants who want to sell weight-loss products. Tangdou also testing e-commerce function via its mini-program. However, there’s no public information on how successful this has been.
But to investors, Tangdou offers potential opportunities.
“Tangdou represents a new social way for the middle-aged and the elderly, forming a stable social class which is centered around a public space,” said Li Chaohui, a managing partner with Tencent’s investment unit. “We hope that Tangdou, as an industry-leading platform that serves these people, can offer more splendid cultural and entertainment content to enrich their lives,” added Li.
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36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company
Editor: Nadine Freischlad