VIVA, one of the largest digital magazine publishers in China announced recently completing Series B round of financing which Qihoo360 participated as strategic shareholder. The funding would go towards “ramping up VIVA mobile magazine” to turn it into the most influential wireless new media. Zhou Hongyi, the fearless leader of Qihoo would be sitting in their board.
The funding, which VIVA didn’t disclose the exact sum, was completed in the third quarter of this year. In addition to Qihoo360, other investors included Highland Capital and Ventech Capital.
Founded in 2007, VIVA reading app is now available on almost all major smartphones, as well as on iPad and Android tablets. As of now, the new media outlet has been partnered with more than 300 mainstream Chinese magazines with over 14 million monthly active users reading north of 120 million issues every month.
Han Yin, founder of the company believed that VIVA is on track to become a new media platform for quality and social reading. On why choosing Qihoo360 over other investors, Han said that Qihoo’s huge user and channel resources are what they’re looking for.
While on the other hand, we also believe that VIVA’s well-positioned business on mobile reading front is what Qihoo has been dying for.
Qihoo is always a gateway company. Its desktop security suit and browser are among the most popular PC clients in China which served as a fort and gateway for the company to amass users and then turn user traffics into real gold. The strategy works pretty well on desktop and has expanded to mobile front with its mobile security and mobile browser offerings. The problem is, on mobile security and browser market Qihoo is far from dominating as it is on desktop market. The company needs a new gateway to strengthen its position on mobile market. Reading, apparently is another nice try. According to iResearch, a Beijing-based Internet think tank, mobile reading is one of the most used functions of smartphone. The mobile reading market is also picking up fast with a total sales of more than RMB 1.215 billion in the first quarter of this year.
Qihoo is not and would never just be a financial investor. The mindset behind all Qihoo investment is, their businesses fit, complement and benefit each other. As in this case.