Bigo to Expand in India, Middle East and the US
Bigo Technology is on a roll. After raising $272 million in Series-D funding from Nasdaq-listed YY Inc. last year, the social media platform has now announced it will open regional centres in three major regions in the world before the end of this year, starting with India.
The social media platform, which is three years old, has said it will invest US$100 million in India, making it the first Singapore Internet company to step into the global arena and take significant steps to be a leader in the industry. Besides India, it plans to expand in the Middle East and the US.
The India expansion will create over 1,000 jobs and create opportunities for cross-country learning for both Singaporeans and Indians, especially since the company has over 40 patents in VoIP/video-related technology, with 60 pending patents in the pipeline.
Jason Hu, CTO for Bigo Technology, says, "We have set our sights on expanding into India as the first region of three. India will act as a complementary center to Singapore’s Research and Development center." This bold step is the first of its kind for Bigo, “and a testament to the growing need for overseas centers as our user base grows,” he adds in a press release.
The move will bring the total number of offices to 20 regional offices and four regional centres for Bigo by the end of 2019.
The company’s most renowned live-streaming product is BIGO LIVE, which has over 200 million registered users in more than 100 regions. It is also one of the top grossing apps globally as reported by App Annie in 2018. Another short video editing app from the company, LIKE, has reached 20 million daily active users around the globe.
In June last year, Bigo Technology had raised $272 million in its series D round of investment by YY Inc., the biggest live streaming social media platform listed on Nasdaq. With this, YY Inc. became the largest shareholder in Bigo Tech. The stake picked is not disclosed publicly.
A large part of the capital raised, the company said at that time, was to be used to expand and grow the LIKE app, with investments to be made in research and development to develop and hone artificial intelligence based technology.
“With the current funding we aim to strengthen our platform and increase our consumer reach. India is a significant market for us and we aim to expand and also hire great talents in technology space and also content creators," Aaron Wei, Global Vice President of LIKE, had said.
Speaking on the recent development, Bigo emphasized it is confident that its investment and status among the users will not be tainted or swayed by other apps in the market. A large part of their confidence is due to the technology employed and artificial Intelligence the app utilizes, as it is far more advanced than other apps of similar nature, it said.