Youku Raises $40M, Might Add Another $40M


While the shakeout in the online video market has already occurred in the U.S. with YouTube reigning supreme over other sites, in China it’s a different story — which is why Chinese video site was able to raise $40 million in a funding round announced yesterday, and may be looking to bring on an additional $40 million in financing.

The new round was led by Chengwei Ventures, with existing investors Brookside (Bain) Capital, Maverick Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures also participating. So far, Youku has raised $110 million, including $30 million with an additional $10 million loan in its last financing round in June 2008.

The online video industry in China is still fairly wide open, in part due to the government’s aggressive stance against global online video leader YouTube (s GOOG). But Youku seems to be in a good position to capture a larger share of the market with the new funding.

The company says it works with more than 1,500 content license holders and has attracted over 350 brand advertisers so far. It had 149 million unique visitors from home or office PCs in October, with another 57 million viewers accessing the site from Internet cafes, according to research firm iResearch. Youku’s revenue for 2009 is projected to be RMB 200 million ($29.3 million).