Business / Companies

Kingsoft Cloud raises $50m in Series C+ financing

By FAN FEIFEI (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-10 08:13

KingSoft Cloud Company, a subsidiary of the country's leading antivirus software and internet service company Kingsoft Corp, announced on Monday it has completed a Series C+ of financing for $50 million, with its valuation reaching $1.1 billion.

It will speed up its layout in cloud-computing services, which involve video, game, medical, government affairs and other enterprise-class cloud services.

This funding was led by a fund managed by China Merchants Securities Co Ltd, and Kingsoft Corp also participated. The company had already secured $60 million in an earlier Series C round of financing.

"The cloud-computing service will be the backbone of the whole company in the future," said Zhang Hongjiang, CEO of Kingsoft Corp, who is bullish about the prospects for the cloud-computing service market, and estimated its market scale would surpass $100 billion in the future.

"We will focus on the mobile video market, which is the core of our cloud-computing business. Furthermore, we will expand our research and development capabilities, attracting more talent, which has also been our long-term objective," said Zhang, who is also CEO of Kingsoft Cloud.

Zhang added the company now only focuses on corporate customers, and has no plans to expand its cloud services to individual consumers.

The Chinese cloud market is only 3 percent of its US counterpart, Zhang told media last month, saying that its prospects are promising.

Founded in 2012, Kingsoft Cloud has established data centers and operations in the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, North America and other parts of the world. In December 2014, Kingsoft Group Chairman Lei Jun announced it would invest $1 billion in developing cloud-computing services over the next three to five years.

It entered the digital gaming industry in 2014, providing cloud services for 90 percent of domestic game developers. Last year it expanded into the online video industry, internet and government administration.

The company witnessed 300 percent growth last year, becoming one of the top three players in the country's cloud service field.

Charlie Dai, principal analyst at Forrester Research Inc, said: "Kingsoft's continuous investment in its cloud service is critical to ensure customer experience and its business growth in the cloud sector. Kingsoft has unique advantages in the gaming industry and is quickly expanding into other segments of the cloud market."

Cloud services have already become a key enabler in the digital transformation of Chinese companies such as Kingsoft, Dai said.

"The cloud market is evolving rapidly in China and around the world. Capabilities on hybrid cloud management, PaaS (Platform as a Service) and vertical solutions will be the key differentiators in the future."

Internet companies have stepped their transformation depending on cloud-computing, such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, Baidu Inc and Tencent Holdings Ltd, which provide different types of cloud services.

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