Compared with social networks targeting at the general masses, vertical or specialized social networks geared towards a certain industry, profession or age group are gaining more traction from users and investors.
Xingyun is a social network platform oriented towards the professionals in culture, entertainment and other related industries. The company reportedly secured 40 million yuan (around US$6.5 million) of Series A financing from Shenzhen Capital Group at a valuation of 200 million yuan.
Xingyun has received 10 million yuan of angel investment from Chinese film star Huang Xiaoming, who co-founded Star VC, a venture capital company targeting at Internet startups, in July this year.
Xingyun gathers industry talents in entertainment, literature, sports, IT and financial industries, connecting like-minded users and providing business opportunities around these affinities. Similar to Facebook and Q Zone, users can read the news stream in their home pages to keep up with celebrity friends. But Xingyun differs from other social networking sites in that it puts all the functional accesses on top bar of the site, which will direct users to the home page of various artists, shows, training institutions, etc.
Founded in 2012 by Ma Yue, who is also the founder of entertainment and culture platform Moko!, Xingyun has attracted star users including a dozen Chinese A-listers such as Huang Xiaoming, Angelababy, Xu Zheng, Liu Qian, Guo Jingming, Fang Wenshan, and nearly 100K potential stars.
In addition to following real-time news about pop stars and films, Xingyun also provides grassroots member users with training programs and marketing services, paving their ways towards the red carpet. Xingyun membership is priced at a jaw-dropping 1,980 yuan and 3,980 yuan for different service packages. Although this price tag may surprise most of other Internet companies, the user payment ratio is far better than expected, according to company.
image credit: Xingyun