Briefing: Bytedance invests RMB 1.26 billion in sports community app Hupu

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字节跳动12.6亿元投资虎扑,持股比例为30% – Jiemian

What happened: Sports community platform Hupu has confirmed that it raised RMB 1.26 billion (around $182 million) from Bytedance in pre-IPO funding, media outlet Jiemian reported. This gives Bytedance a 30% stake in Hupu, which has 30 million registered users. Bytedance and Hupu have collaborated prior to the investment. After Bytedance became an official global partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA), Hupu started using Bytedance’s Xigua Video as the default video platform when redirecting users.

Why it’s important: Bytedance has been trying to build its sports content ecosystem for a while, partnering with sports leagues and clubs such as the WWE, CBA, and UFC. Although the recent investment doesn’t make Bytedance Hupu’s largest shareholder, it could greatly facilitate the growth of sports-related content on Bytedance’s domestic products such as Jinri Toutiao, Douyin, and Xigua Video. Hupu’s current business includes sports-related content, marketing, and e-commerce.