What you need to know
The new funding will contribute to brand restructuring, technical development and international expansion.
The News Lens (TNL), an independent Taipei-based Chinese- and English-language online media, has completed a fundraising round with existing and new investors and will begin a series of international expansion steps, optimization strategy of its current brands and in-house technology initiatives.
Joey Chung, the company’s CEO and co-founder, announced that TNL will next consider international expansion, including through partnerships or acquisition of other Chinese-language content producers. TNL’s moves would be supported in part by the new funding round.
Investors who participated in TNL’s latest funding round, valued at US$3-4 million, include several high-profile individual investors. Among them are Silicon Valley-based YouTube co-founder Steve Chen; Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin; and Guitar Hero co-founder Charles Huang. In addition, several funds participated in the round, including Dorcas; Hazel Asset Management; Walden International; and North Base Media, an original seed investor in TNL.
TNL has been growing both organically and through acquisitions. Earlier this year, it acquired a top Taiwan tech website, INSIDE, and a top Taiwan sports website, Sportsvision. A key focus now will be to restructure internally into a media group to optimize the traffic and sales potential of each brand.
“Our goal is to gradually build the most effective and biggest digital-media company for global Chinese millennials and become the leading digital media group in Taiwan within this year,” CEO Joey Chung said. “We will use a combination of technology and capital to position TNL as a market leader, both in Taiwan and across Asia, and are extremely excited to connect early at this crucial stage with these key international investors and entrepreneurs.”
TNL has been building a strong technical team and expects later this year to roll out an in-house content-management system and data-analytics platform, Chung said. “We want to build strong products with a technical edge with significant revenue potential, while maintaining our independent journalistic ideals.”
Mario Yang, TNL’s co-founder and chief content officer, said he sees considerable opportunity in developing products that connect with younger, Chinese-speaking audiences across Asia and internationally. “The quality and relevance of our content defines us for our followers and for our commercial partners. We will continue developing new content with that original ideal in the belief that the need for valuable information will never change and hope to soon expand our reach to more international markets.” he said. Traffic to TNL continues to grow, and is up by a third from a year ago.
About The News Lens: The TNL Media Group is based in Taipei and publishes content under four brands: The News Lens for valuable new and opinions; ELD for lifestyle and fashion; INSIDE for technology news and trends; and SportsVision for sports news and commentary. It employs a staff of about 80 in Taipei and Hong Kong. Combined, the group has around 9 million monthly unique readers.