YY Inc., one of the largest live streaming platforms in China, announced that it has further invested US$272 million in a series D round in Singapore-headquartered social media platform Bigo Inc.
YY is also a livestreaming giant itself, having reported US$1.78 billion net revenue in 2017, a 41.3% increase from 2016.
Alongside YY, other investors have also participated in the series D financing, including David Li, Chairman and CEO of YY, who was said to have invested in Bigo using his personal funds.
Bigo Inc. is best known for its livestreaming app, Bigo Live.
Bigo Live has been extremely successful in attracting younger users, and last year, announced that they had garnered over 150 million subscribers with over 45 million monthly active users – all in just 400 days since launch.
It was also valued at US$400 million after its series C round last year.
Just last Friday, Jason Hu, CTO of Bigo, also shared with attendees at the SINO AI Forum his hopes that Bigo’s AI technology can be “applied globally to not just private companies but also for government usages”.
In fact, Indonesia government ministry KOMINFO had recently engaged Bigo’s AI technology solution to aid in their cyber monitoring.
Said Hu, “On average, BIGO has to screen 600-700 thousand of livestreaming broadcasts and over 100 million of photographs content daily which are generated by users on our platform.”
With both AI surveillance monitoring system and a team of surveillance officers based globally we are able to identify 96% of inappropriate content on our platforms with limited manpower. Additionally, the system is continuously learning and picking up new behaviour. Policing of inappropriate content still remains as our company’s top priority.
This assurance is probably in response to Bigo’s troubled reputation, which is marred with reports of cyber bullying and sexually-explicit content.
Since then, they also have worked to promote more ‘wholesome’ content, with the launch of channels for aspiring musicians and gamers.
Bigo had also recently opened a R&D centre in Singapore, and are currently “hiring a team of 100 AI experts and engineers to join the centre and to spearhead its Artificial Intelligence Research & Development programmes.”
The centre is also reported to be the key research centre responsible for the company’s future R&D progress.