Chinese podcast sharing service Ximalaya, or Himalaya, chose to announce $11.5 million Series A funding round when the news broke that Twitter wanted to acquire SoundCloud, one of the most popular podcast sharing platforms.
Ximalaya pointed out that they and SoundCloud actually has a mutual investor, KPCB, which implies that the investor believes the model works either in the Western countries or in China. Other investors that joined this round include SIG Asia Investment and Sierra Ventures.
Founded in August 2012, the first Ximalaya mobile app was launched in March 2013. The company claims activated users reached 50 million earlier this month.
Now there are more than 6000 content contributors on the platform that have created 240,000 channels and 3 million audio tracks, according to the company. An average of over 10,000 tracks are being uploaded daily. The contents on Ximalaya range from news, music, talk shows, to podcast classes.
Ximalaya’s competitors in China include Kaola FM and Qingting FM. The revenue sources of those services are similar: advertising. Qingting FM reached partnership with traditional radios stations, playing some content from them but featuring ads targeted at different user groups. Kaola FM was considering reselling rights of the content generated on its platform to third parties, Yang Tinghao, CEO of Kaola FM, at an event.