Alibaba pumps $100M in VMate to grab a slice of the growing social video space in India

Alibaba's pumping funds into VMate is an attempt to take on the growing social video apps market, which the company has missed out on in China.

From payments to ecommerce, Alibaba already had its eye on India. Now, the Chinese technology behemoth has reportedly invested $100 million in VMate, a short video sharing app launched by UC Web, the company's subsidiary, to venture into the lucrative social video app space in the Indian market.

According to media reports, the investment is Alibaba’s attempt to take on the growing social video apps market, which the company has missed out on completely in China. And VMate could potentially help it fill the gap in India where the market is rapidly growing.

Launched in India in 2016 by UCWeb, VMate the app earlier allowed streaming and downloading of full-length movies. It was later made a short video sharing app.

VMate also offers editing tools, including special effects and custom clips. It also allows duet video format, putting it in competition with TikTok, a short video sharing app owned by Bytedance. Known as Douyin in China, it was launched globally as Tiktok with over 75 languages enabled and claims to have over 120 million active users in India.

VMate currently has 30 million users in India, and allows users to share their videos on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp.

Alibaba is exploring ways to build products and services that will benefit Indian customers.

Recently, on the sidelines of Alibaba Cloud APAC Summit, 2019, Selina Yuan of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International, told YourStory that Alibaba’s cloud computing service is prepared for India and promised more developments in the coming year.

Alibaba has also invested in major Indian startups like Paytm, Bigbasket, Zomato, and Snapdeal.

Earlier this month, Alibaba Group Holding Limited said that the total revenue of the Chinese multinational for the quarter ending March 31, 2019 stood at $13.93 billion, an increase of 51 percent year-over-year.

The total revenue raked in by the group at the end of fiscal year 2018-19 stood at $56.15 billion. This amount is excluding revenues of acquired businesses. The net profit for the group stood at $11.9 billion for FY19.   



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