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Taiwan LBS Vpon Scores a $7 million Investment From China VC
This post was contributed by Jeremy Yuan of TechOrange in Taiwan, where this article was originally published.
Mobile advertising network Vpon announced that they have accepted $7 million in investment from China-based EZCapital, the group that previously invested in Qihoo (奇虎) 360, Douban 豆瓣, and 大眾點評. Vpon specializes in location-based delivery of mobile ads, and was Asia’s first dedicated mobile ad delivery platform when it was founded in 2008 with the help of iii, the Taiwanese government-funded incubator.
Vpon partners with mobile applications to serve an advertisement within the app. Vpon then delivers ads to users depending on their specific location. So, say I am nearing a corner with a Starbucks – the phone’s GPS can send Vpon my location, and they’ll deliver me an ad or perhaps a promotion to be used at that Starbucks location.The company currently partners with over 1,000 different apps, representing a user base of more than 6 million.
Vpon is active not only in Taiwan, but also across China, with a presence in over 500 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Guangzhou. They match their breadth of coverage with a heavy-hitting blue chip client list that includes American Express, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, Citibank, and McDonalds.
According to EZCapital’s press release, the funding is to be structured in two rounds, with $5 million to be released in the first round. This international investment represents the second international million+ dollar investment that a Taiwanese tech company has received recently, with iPeen also receiving money from Japanese VC CyberAgent earlier last month.
Vpon’s cross-strait presence was no-doubt a major factor in the investment. This is true not just because its ability to jump to the mainland increased its market considerably, but because it was able to acquire face time and the attention of larger Chinese VC firms. Their move could serve as a case study for future startups in Taiwan’s growing software industry. We’ll keep you updated with any developments!