LeTV Sports, an affiliate of video sharing website LeTV which is based in China, has secured $128 million in series A funding led by Alibaba founder and chairman, Jack Ma and Wanda Group chairman Wang Jianlin. Both of them have invested via their own private venture capital funds – Yunfeng Capital and Wanda Investment respectively.
Fortune Link, Prometheus Group and several others also participated in the round. With this funding, the company has reached a valuation of $452 million.
LeTV was established in 2004 and went public on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in 2010. In its latest round, the firm had received $55.4 million series B funding in September 2014. It is backed by CHT Capital, Shenzhen Capital Group, Shenzhen Cowin Venture Capital Investments and Huijin Cubic Capital.
It established a $200 million film production fund, acquired a production studio for $260 million to generate more exclusive content, and launched a music company in March this year.
LeTV Sports is an online video site that focuses on live streaming sports events. It claims 21 sports events in 12 categories and to broadcast 4,000 matches every year, covering various events including football, basketball, tennis, and golf.
Prior to this investment, Alibaba has invested in various media and entertainment industries including $387 million in TV program and film producers Beijing Enlight Media for 8.8% stake, $200 million investment in Evergrande Taobao Football Club, bought 59% stake in ChinaVision Media Group and acquired 8.08% of movie production company Huayi Brothers for around $247 million.