Youku.com Raises US$25 Million to Extend Leadership in China's Online Video Space
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Youku.com, the leading online video sharing website in China, announced today it has completed a US$25 million round of private equity funding. This investment will be used to accelerate the company's rapid growth, expand sales and marketing efforts and further upgrade R&D and the video service standard of Youku.com.
 
Officially launched in December 2006, Youku ( http://www.youku.com ) is the leader in online video in China. It is the leading destination for Chinese people to watch and share short-form videos all over the world. Youku currently delivers more than 80 million video views on a daily basis. With a broad user base and attractive demographics, Youku has provided interactive marketing solutions to advertising clients such as Dell, Samsung, Shanda, Ford Motors, Rising software, Hewlett Packard, Giant Interactive, etc.

"Youku has achieved its leadership position in the last 12 months by growing more than 10 times in user base and number of videos viewed per day," said Victor Koo, Founder and CEO of Youku.com. "We are honored to have Brookside Capital Partners, a fund affiliated with global private equity firm Bain Capital, as our new investment partner, and continued participation by Sutter Hill, Farallon and Chengwei Ventures. With the support of these world- class investors, we are confident to build Youku into the largest and most profitable online video company in China."

Besides closing a new round of financing, Youku also announced recently that it has entered into an online video strategic cooperation with Sohu.com. Previously, Youku.com formed a strategic partnership with Baidu, the leading search engine in China and the company also provides exclusive game video support to Shanda, the Nasdaq-listed online game operator in China. In the mean time, Youku has also cooperated with many leading media and entertainment organizations in China, including China Film Group, CCTV, Universal Music, Phoenix TV, Shanghai TV, Jiangsu Satellite TV and China Education TV, for example.

"We are very happy to bring our firm's media expertise to this partnership with Youku," said Mark Moore, Director at Brookside Capital Partners. "We believe Victor and his team are well positioned to replicate the success of the leading Chinese internet portals in the video space and succeed in building another strong internet company in China."

Before Series C, Youku successfully completed two rounds of venture financing of US$15 million in total from Sutter Hill Ventures, Farallon Capital and Chengwei Ventures.

"We are very proud of what Youku has achieved in the last 12 months since we made our first investment," said Len Baker, Managing Director of Sutter Hill Ventures. "Online video is rapidly changing the media landscape both in the U.S. and China, and we are confident that Youku's management team will execute its business plan and capitalize on this tremendous opportunity in China."

About Youku.com

Founded in November 2005, Youku is the leader in online video in China. It is the leading destination for Chinese people to watch and share short-form videos all over the world. The Youku.com website was officially launched in December 2006 and has grown rapidly since -- Youku delivers more than 80 million daily video views as of November 2007.

About Brookside Capital Partners & Bain Capital

Brookside Capital Partners is an investment fund affiliated with Bain Capital ( http://www.baincapital.com ), a leading global private investment firm with approximately $60 billion in assets under management. Formed in 1996, Brookside invests across a broad spectrum of industries including media & telecom, healthcare, consumer, industrial and financial services. Each investment is based on fundamental analysis of the company's business by professionals who are sector focused. Headquartered in Boston, Bain Capital has offices in Hong Kong, Sh