Quora-like platform Zhihu secured USD 434 mln financing, its largest funding round ever
Aug 13, 2019 (China Knowledge) - Zhihu, China's largest question-and-answer website, secured USD 434 mln in the latest round of financing from investors including the country's search engine giant Baidu (BIDU) and leading short video social platform Kwai.
The Quora-like knowledge-sharing platform has raised USD 450 mln in the previous six rounds of fundraising since the company's establishment in 2010. The fundraising this time is counted as the largest funding round for Zhihu, pushing the company's valuation from USD 2.4 bln from the latest round to near USD 3.5 bln currently.
Zhihu plans to use the proceeds to rev up technology and product innovation and build the firm's online business ecosystem.
It has been commercializing its Q&A platform by selling advertisement and offering paid online courses as well as digital publications. Advertising has always been the main source of Zhihu's revenues. However, sluggish economic growth has dampened companies appetited on putting ads, giving a hard hit on Zhihu. Last December, Zhihu fired about 100 people in the name of “normal operational adjustments at year end.”
At present Zhihu has 220 million registered users and over 130 million questions and answer on its platform, according to data from Baidu. Its cooperation with Baidu could ensure more traffic access to the Q&A platform through the latter's search services. Baidu plans to enable the company's users to access to content on Zhihu through Baidu's mobile app and other products.
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