OTT company Watcha raises ₩36 billion in Series D funding

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OTT company Watcha raises ₩36 billion in Series D funding

Domestic streaming service provider Watcha raised 36 billion won ($33 million) in Series D funding from local investors. Watcha will use the funds to augment its content production and software infrastructure. 
 
Of the 36 billion won, the company raised 19 billion won in July and an additional 17 billion won this month. There are a total of 10 investors, including eBEST Investment & Securities, LSS Private Equity and Kakao Ventures. All funding has been made, according to the company in a statement Monday. 
 
Watcha is planning to invest in the production of original content and exclusive distribution in order to stand out from other over-the-top (OTT) services. American television shows including “Why Women Kill,” “Mrs. America” and “Killing Eve” are some of the most popular series currently available on “Watcha Exclusive,” a monthly release of exclusive titles that launched this year.
 
The company will expand its production of alternative forms of content, such as “Fake Men 2,” a military-themed, eight-episode season. The first season launched on YouTube in July, and Watcha participated in the production of the second season that was released in October.
 
Some of the funds will go toward further strengthening its in-house streaming technology and infrastructure. In October, it acquired local IT company Gittd that specializes in video streaming technology.  
 
With the new funds, the company has raised over 59 billion won in accumulated funding since it initially attracted investment from firms including Company K Partners and Atinum Investment, Watcha said. Four of the seed investors have reinvested in the company, citing its growth potential and competitive strategy.
 
"The company started from scratch, but became a major OTT platform just based on its data, technology and management expertise," said Kim Ki-jun, the vice president of Kakao Ventures. "Watcha's growth strategy will continue to be unmatched in the global competition side by side with large companies." 
 
BY LEE JEE-YOUNG   [lee.jeeyoung1@joongang.co.kr]
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