Shanghai-based “boutique entertainment studio” Linmon Pictures (柠檬影业) announced a round of 500 million RMB (about $76 million USD) Series B Funding on Tuesday, according to Chinese startup and investor platform, ITJuzi. The round of investment was led by Hony Capital (弘毅投资) and followed by Tencent and Mango V Foundation.
“In the near future, using this new round of funding, we plan to not only expand the production of our TV shows, but also invest in film, variety shows, and other kinds of content,” said Xiao Su (苏晓), the CEO of Linmon Pictures, in an article by Sina Finance.
Founded in August 2014, Linmon Pictures is an independent creator, producer, and distributor of entertainment content. In 2015, Linmon Pictures received a 100 million RMB round of Series A funding from Tencent, after which it produced three TV dramas: Chronicle of Life (寂寞宫廷春欲晚), A Love for Separation (小别离), and The Good Man (our translation, 好先生).
Tencent’s backing of Linmon Pictures marks another move into the entertainment industry by a Chinese tech giant. Both Tencent and Alibaba have made efforts to control more of China’s entertainment and media industry in the past year. In November 2015, Alibaba acquired Chinese online video provider, which signed a partnership with Paramount Pictures last September, and owns Alibaba Pictures Group. Last year, Tencent signed a deal with Disney to be the exclusive online distributor of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
A spokesperson from Linmon Pictures could not be reached in time for comment.