Touchmedia completes funding round despite economic crisis

Touchmedia has announced that they had completed their latest round of financing, amounting to in excess of 100 million RMB, despite the current challenging economic environment. The round was led by CDIB Capital Ltd, affiliated China Development Financial Holdings, and included investors from previous rounds, TLC Capital, Qiming Ventures and Mustang Ventures, as well as the founder and CEO, Mr Micky Fung and his affiliate companies.

Noted Managing Director of CDIB Capital, Lionel de Saint-Exupery, “CDIB Capital is delighted to lead this new round of financing which will allow Touchmedia to accelerate the roll-out of its highly successful business model across China. This investment is perfectly aligned with our strategy of supporting high-growth, innovative companies led by exceptional management teams. We look forward to working closely with Micky and his remarkable team to ensure the long term success of Touchmedia.”

Representing CDIB Capital on Touchmedia’s board of directors will be Vice President Adam Bornstein, who added, ”With revenue growth accelerating, bucking the advertising industry’s global malaise, Touchmedia’s gatekeeper status uniquely positions it as China’s only nationwide in-taxi advertising channel. Indeed, you’d be hard pressed to find another out of home media channel that not only offers passengers an entertaining and engaging platform, but also provides advertisers with highly targeted marketing and rich consumer data – it’s a win-win for all.”

Explained CEO Micky Fung, ”To have been able to raise funds in such a difficult time, and to still have been able to select a partner with a track record of success and strong strategic input, such as CDIB, is a credit to the strength of the business and the success to date. We will use the funds for expansion in both existing and new cities, as in some areas we are already unable to meet demand.”

Currently Touchmedia has more than 100,000 taxis under contract and is operating in 4 cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Mr. Fung advised that the system would be launched in a number of other cities within the next 12 months and that international launches were being considered. ”People find the system fun and useful. They like to be able to select what they want to watch and to play or seek information. A year ago independent research said over 89% of passengers liked the system. That figure has now climbed to 96%. The system is also helping people and serving a valuable role in getting the word out for the more than 20 charities we support each year. This ongoing commitment to public service helped us to win last year’s award for the Media Making the Greatest Contribution to the Community from the Beijing government.”

Talking to the public confirmed this view. ”I particularly enjoyed the Shanghai Auto Show program. You could vote for the best car,” said Mr Wang, who owns a local restaurant in Jing An. (Touchmedia advised that the Car of the Year campaign had received more than 1,200,000 votes from passengers in just the month of April). Mr Wang’s wife elaborated that she liked being able to get, ”Information on restaurants, shopping, cosmetics and clothes, instead of sitting in the taxi with nothing to do.”

Gary Rieschel, Co Founder of Qiming, the Series A lead investor, described how, ”Touchmedia has exceeded our expectations from the time of our investment 3 years ago.” Continued Joseph Huang of TLC Capital, “We believe that the interactivity and consumer control that Touchmedia’s products deliver has proven itself to advertisers and the community. With new features, new clients and rapid growth we remain convinced that this is the most promising new media in the market.”

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