Lanxiong Sports, a Beijing-based sports business content provider, announced on Sept.19th at Chinese Sports Industry Market that it has closed a ¥42 million (6.5 million dollars) series A funding round, led by Chinese Media Capital Holdings, and co-invested by Allin Capital, Entertainment Works and Prestige Angel.
Lanxiong Sports was founded in July, 2015 by its founder Han Mu. Han was the director of sports business section at Jie Mian. Before that, he worked for Economic Weekly as a senior business reporter. At the beginning of 2014, Han sensed the potentials in the blank Chinese sports industry and began to look into this area. Starting from original content-producing, he built his team gradually, which led to the official launch of Lanxiong Sports in the summer of 2015.
As for team-building, three partners joined in subsequently. Co-founder Li Shuangfu worked in the U.S. as a NBA reporter for Sina, during which he developed his financial perspective of sports. Liu Xiruo and Li Bin worked for The Beijing News and The Founder respectively before they joined Han and Li. Currently, more than thirty team members are working for Lanxiong Sports, mostly from business media, IT venture capital investment and sports marketing companies, which made Lanxiong Sports one of the most influential and wide-spreading new media platforms.
Lanxiong completed its ¥2 Million (about 300 thousand dollars) angel investment from investor UT-Ventures on June 2015. In March 2016, Lanxiong's ¥12 Million (1.9 million dollars) series Pre-A financing round was led by CMC, with co-investor Unity VC. Six months from then, Lanxiong crossed the finish line of its series A funding round worthy of 6.5 million dollars.
As one of the most influential investment platforms in cultural and media industry, CMC has made several major moves in Chinese sports industry, exemplified by its investment in China Sports Media, City Football Group, SECA, SoccerWorld, UPBOX, Wesai Sports, Rucker Park and Cubee.
"CMC keeps an eye on good teams and works in the aspect of content, platforms, technologies and services in sports industry. Lanxiong Sports starts as sports media and it leads in the area with its professionalism and business values. With its business growing, Lanxiong is getting more recognition from the market, and now it functions as a most essential part of the CMC industrial chain. Based on this, Lanxiong will get more opportunities of creative growth,"said Li Ruigang, chairman of CMC commented on CMC's continuous investment in Lanxiong Sports.
The three co-investors who made contributions to this funding round all showed their interest in sports industry. Entertainment Works focuses on early-stage projects, including Kunlun Fight and Sunpig in its portfolio. Huang Sichen, partner of Prestige Angel, has his own sports start-up, Mud Run, which has already been promoted nationwide. Allin Capital acquired its experience from a series of investment in the training, venues, broadcasting and intelligent hardwares. Wu Pinlei, chairman of Allin Capital says, "Investing in Lanxiong Sports, we hope to imrove the free and extensive flow of information in sports industry, therefore accelerating the whole industry."
"After we finished the previous funding round, the whole team has been stepping up. At present, we still revolve around content, to make an impact with our in-depth reporting. Meanwhile, we’ve been exploring outside content producing, transitioning from a medium to service and trading platform of the whole industry." CEO Han Mu said, in the future, Lanxiong Sports must dig deeper into content upgrading, financial business and enterprise services.
In respect of content-producing, apart from keeping its high-quality reporting, Lanxiong launched its Lanxiong Business Academy, which works on data and report related to sports industry. In the middle of May 2016, Lanxiong released its first edition of Chinese Sport Startups White Paper，a full and detailed record of the investments in sports industry from 2015 to March, 2016. Following reports of the New Third Board companies and sports intellectual properties are on the way.
In May 2016, Lanxiong Sports founded a ¥100 million (15 million dollars) fund, Yuanxun Capital, jointly with CMC and UT Ventures, seeking early-stage investing in sports industry. To date, Yuanxun already invested in 8 sports projects in the branches of fitness services, sports entertainment content producing, vegan-health community, children sports training program, fitness smart devices and sports marketing.
On the enterprise service side, the first Sports Industry Crossover Summit hosted by Lanxiong Sports was held in Beijing On May 18th. Senior executives of 5 major sports companies, CMC, Ali Sports, Tencent, LeSports and Wanda Sports, attended this summit. Celebrities like Yao Ming, Chen Kexin, Zhang Bin, Yan Qiang, Su Qun and Yang Yi, investors like Liu Qin, Wang Xiao, Fan Nan, also participated in the themed forums. Nearly 200 corporate executives and 800 industry elites took part in this Summit.
Han Mu thought of the Summit as a presentation of Lanxiong’s accumulation of resources and perception of sports industry. He hopes the theme, Crossover, would bring more people of caliber into the sports world, to accelerate the industry. In the next period, Lanxiong Sports will host 2 major sports industry events each year to aggregate users, brands, institutes, etc. The Chinese Sports Industry Market, which made its debut today, would be the core events in the second half the 2016.
"We are officially launching the Chinese Sports Industry Market as enterprise services, " Han introduced. In the following 100 days, the sports industry market will echo throughout 7 major cities in China, bringing together more than 100 corporate executives, business leaders, investors, star entrepreneurs and celebrities. "Our intention is to connect more people in the industry, to share their knowledge and opinions, and exchange resources. We want to build a platform where people can find their partner, capital and promote their brand and product."
Following this funding round, Lanxiong Sports’ other business sections will pace up. The sports business school founded with well-known universities and overseas study programs are en route. Meanwhile, Lanxiong is planning to activate it Financial Advisory business, concentrating on the financial trading area in sports industry, from the start of 2017.
Mr. Zhang Ying