Deals: Migme raises $5m from Meitu to one-up Instagram and Snapchat in Asia

By Terence Lee for TechinAsia

Migme, which calls itself a “digital media company” for emerging markets, is many things. It’s a social network, a chat app, and a place to listen to music, engage with celebrities, and play games.

Sorta like what WeChat and Line are to its vast audiences. Now, Migme wants to be a bit like SnapChat and Instagram too. The startup announced that it has raised US$5.12 million from Meitu, a Chinese company well-known for its photo and video editing apps.

Its flagship app is MeituPic, which has 180 million monthly active users as of February 2015. It’s basically a photo touch-up app for people to look prettier than in real-life. Users can also add all sorts of filters, texts, and effects to decorate their photos.

So how does this fundraising and partnership benefit both parties? For Migme, the tie-up will lead to integration of Meitu’s products into Migme, with the aim of giving people “an experience set comparable to an Instagram and Snapchat.”

For Meitu, whose users are mostly in China, it’s about acquiring users abroad. Migme has 32 million monthly active users, and they’re mostly from Indonesia, Philippines, and India.

According to the press release, Migme will “implement the sharing of content” across both platforms. They will also work on “localization, joint, and cross-marketing initiatives.”

Migme founder Steven Goh says that Meitu’s investment means it’ll own just under 5 percent of his company, giving it a valuation of around US$102 million. This is just “the first of a number of content creation apps being integrated” into Migme, he says.

Just a few days earlier, Migme announced growing its revenue by 525 percent year-on-year to US$8.7 million, trimming its net loss to US$14.7 million. It’s active user base meanwhile grew 220 percent.

the article first appeared in techinasia