ChinaCache, a Beijing-based Internet content delivery network (CDN) operator,
has secured $31.5 million from overseas investors such as Intel Capital and
Ignition Partners, thanks to the rapid development of China's Internet industry.
Shanghai-based venture capital firm Qiming Venture Partners led the
investment in ChinaCache. Six other investors such as Intel Capital, the
investment arm of the world's leading chipmaker, also bought stakes.
Established in 1998, ChinaCache had secured $8.5 million in 2005 from venture
investors to fund its growth.
"The rapid growth of video and audio contents on the Internet creates a huge
demand for content delivery services in China," said Wang Song, ChinaCache's CEO.
Beijing-based company stores media contents such as audio and video clips on its
network, allowing Internet users to access them quicker. It runs a network
covering over 50 cities across the nation and provides services to some of the
largest websites in China such as Sohu.com and Xinhua.com.
The company will use the new funding to finance its network expansion. It
also looks to acquire competitors to maintain its lead in the market, said Wang.
ChinaCache raked in $10 million in revenue in 2006, double that of 2005. It
now claims to be the only national CDN service provider and holds more than 75
percent of the fast-growing market.
"We'll be able to keep that growth momentum for a few years, and at least
quadruple our revenue before 2008," said Wang, adding that only 5 percent
of Chinese websites have adopted content delivery services.
China had over 843,000 websites by the end of 2006, attracting 137 million
users, said China Internet Networks Information Center (CNNIC), a
quasi-government organization. The nation is also expected to overtake the
United States to have the world's largest Internet population within two years.
Since 2006, several video-sharing websites have mushroomed in China, inspired
by YouTube's success. Attractive to young Internet users, such websites often
generate heavier traffic.
"We will try to launch an initial public offering in the US next year," said Richard Xu,
the company's chief operating officer.
Limelight Networks Inc, a US-based CDN service provider, staged its debut on
the NASDAQ on June 7 and its shares rose 48 percent on the first trading day.