Weebly, an US website-building service, announced that it has secured $35 million of Series C funding from Chinese Internet giant Tencent and existing investor Sequoia Capital at a market valuation of $455 million. The funds will be used to expand into new markets and increase investment in R&D, according to the company.

Weebly, a 8-year-old startup founded by three Penn State students, helps customers, especially small businesses, to build professional-looking websites with drag-and-drop tools, where no coding and technical skills are required. Weebly claimed to hosts more than 20 million sites that are seen by 175 million visitors every month.

Amid the shopping spree of Chinese Internet juggernauts, Tencent has invested $2 billion in overseas markets during the first ten months of 2013 and a large part of which went to startups.

Tencent, which has an office in the U.S. to oversee potential acquisition or investment targets, is expanding its portfolio of fast-growing U.S. startups. The startups it has invested in include, mobile-messaging app Snapchat, e-commerce site Fab, mobile game maker Plain Vanilla, mobile gameplay recording service Kamcord, and game developer Activision Blizzard.

image credit: Weebly

Emma Lee (Li Xin) was TechNode's e-commerce and new retail reporter until June 2022, when she moved to Sixth Tone to cover technology and consumption. Get in touch with her via lixin@sixthtone.com or Twitter.

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