Deals | Toutiao Invested in China’s Google Docs-like Shimo, Paving Out Its Way to Tap into the Enterprise Services

Written by Zhao Xiaochun Published on 

Toutiao is reportedly eyeing to compete with Alibaba and Tencent in instant messaging tool for enterprises. 

Jinri Toutiao, the operator of China’s largest news aggregator, has invested in a Series B round in Shimo, the Chinese equivalent of Google Docs, in 2017, local media Pintu reported on Thursday.

In November 2017, Toutiao became the largest shareholder in Shimo after leading a Series A round. The startup raised tens of millions of yuan in the round.

Shimo was founded in 2014 and officially launched in June 2015. The founder WU Jie told local media Pintu that the company is serving almost ten million individual users and 120k enterprises.

Previously, China’s biztech media and KrASIA’s parent company 36Kr reported that, Toutiao is developing an instant messaging tool dubbed Lark, which could be a counterpart of Alibaba‘s Ding Talk and Tencent‘s Enterprise WeChat. Employees at Toutiao told 36Kr that Lark is on an internal trial and may be publicly launched in the first half of 2018.

Sources also told 36Kr that Toutiao is actively approaching companies dealing with SaaS for potential investments. In the B2B area, Toutiao has invested in Tower, a tool for group-coordination, in June 2016.


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