Orca Digital (top100.cn) gets USD 20 Mln funding from CMC and plans US IPO

20 July 2011 21 h 43 min 47 comments

According to Sina Tech and WSJ, Beijing-based online music provider Orca Digital recently obtained approximately USD 20 mln in second-round funding led by China Media Capital (CMC), the state owned investment company focused on media assets in China.

Orca Digital operates Top100.cn, a website that enables users in China to listen to and download music, including tracks from the world’s four major record labels, free. 

Once the current round of funding is complete, CMC and Google will be Orca’s largest shareholders. Orca Digital, a company co-founded by the basketball star Yao MingGoogle Inc, is the music provider of Google in China. 

Some days ago, DoNews revealed that Orca Digital recently purchased rival Beijing Yiting Information Technology (1ting.com) for USD 10 mln. The source also said that of the total USD 10 mln paid in the deal, UDS 5 mln was paid in cash and the remainder in company stock.

Another source claims that once the acquisition is complete, Orca will pursue a US IPO.

But Gary Chen, chief executive officer of the company, declined to comment about it in an interview with National Business Daily. Chen said that the company plans to acquire several domestic online music sites in order to obtain new technology or expand its user base. Orca is also exploring different business models such as value-added services and music-based games, according to Chen.

These announcements or rumours about Orca come as China’s largest web-search company, Baidu Inc., is expanding its own free music service. Baidu announced yesterday it will carry licensed copies of more than 500,000 tracks from record labels Sony Corp.’s Sony Music Entertainment, Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group Corp.

Orca history

•September 2005. Company established in Beijing,China. Founders include Gary Ge Chen and Erik zhang.
•March 2006. Official launch of www.top100.cn to start providing legit music download service in China with licensing partners EMI, SonyBMG and many other indie labels.
•Established national sales channel and partnership including all four China telecom carriers and other 30 channel partners including Apple, Lenovo and Shandaetc.
•Signed and covered more than one thousand labels around the world. Built the largest legit music database of over 1 million songs in China.
•2007. Google joined as both equity and strategic partner.

SOURCES: DoNews (18/07/2011), Sina Tech (20/07/2011)


. “Orca Digital Raises $20 Million” (WSJ, 20/07/2011)

. “Baidu jumps into social music arena” (China Daily, 20/07/2011)

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