Yiwai11 (意外艺术), a WeChat official account dedicated to popularizing fine art, recently announced it has acquired more than RMB 20 million in a series A, putting its valuation at more than RMB 200 million, local news is reporting (in Chinese).
Rather than the minority wealthy or artist population, Yiwai11 pinpoints the broader public as its target market. The official account has been successful in popularizing fine art among Chinese people by translating dull and difficult art content into something suitable for a lower common denominator. Its 40-episode art talk show “Is art difficult?” has racked up 300 million views since its launch in 2014, with 2.5 million unique viewers.
The financing round, led by Toutoushidao Capital, is the latest in a financing boom seen among WeChat official accounts. These official accounts have an edge in terms of business value expansion and ability to obtain vast user base with low costs. They are now cashing in on the platform provided by WeChat in various ways, such as selling advertising, marketing advertorials, providing services, and selling products through O2O.
Some popular public accounts like Mimeng (咪蒙) can charge RMB 300,000 for one ad slot while authors of popular posts in some public accounts may receive financial rewards through WeChat’s “reward” function. In addition, WeChat reportedly will launch paid services for the content offered by public accounts, creating new revenue streams for these accounts.
The rise of these official accounts has triggered an investment bonanza, with even an account of 10,000 fans being able to secure a multi-million investment. Over the past two years, an increasing number of WeChat public accounts have seen their valuation pass the RMB 100 million mark.
Among them, the Luogic Show (罗辑思维) saw its valuation reach RMB 1.3 billion (in Chinese) last year after completing its series B funding round, while Yitiao (一条) raised RMB 100 million in series B round of investment, at a valuation of US$ 200 million (in Chinese).