Tencent Leads $110-m Round in MX Player

Chinese technology giant Tencent is leading a $110-million (about 780 crore) financing round in MX Player at around $500 million (around 3,545 crore) valuation, The Economic Times reported citing people close to the matter. This will be the video-streaming platform’s first external fundraising after its acquisition by Times Internet (TIL), which has also participated in the current round. The deal would help Tencent get a foothold in the fast-growing Indian over the top, or OTT, market, as it is expanding its video streaming platform Tencent Video outside of China with a recent launch in Thailand. For Tencent, this is the second instance of the internet conglomerate backing a Times Internet property. It led a $115-million funding round in music streaming service Gaana in February last year. Times Internet is part of The Times Group, which also publishes this paper. In 2018, Times Internet acquired a majority stake in MX Player, which was then a video playback app, from Chinese mobile games firm Zenjoy for an estimated 1,000 crore. Kai Xia, the founder of Zenjoy, who is on the board of MX Player, had bought out the company from its South Korean founder in 2016. MX Player intends to use the fresh capital to bolster its content portfolio by acquiring as well as producing original programming, expand further in the entertainment genre and increase its talent pool.