While Silicon Valley takes a breather this Thanksgiving weekend from a hectic year of deal-making, the action continues over in China.
1) Well-connected China video site gets $25 million more
2) More rumors of Facebook purchases in China
3) Qunar, a Chinese travel search engine, raises $10 million
Well-connected China video site gets $25 million more — Youku.com is a thriving Chinese YouTube-style video sharing site, and has just raised another round of funding, according to Chinese news organization Sohu. It is one of the larger Chinese video sites, with more than 70 million video plays a day according to Pacific Epoch. Youku also has a lot of big-time connections. Victor Koo, the chief executive of Youku, used to be the president of Sohu, and the two companies have a business relationship. Farallon Capital, the hedge fund, led an initial round of $3 million in March 2006. Bain Capital venture subsidiary Brookside Capital Partners led this latest round, with other investors including Chengwei Ventures and Sutter Hill Ventures. We haven’t gotten any comment from Farallon or Sutter Hill to learn more about the company, although well-known Sutter Hill partner Len Baker is on Youku’s board.
More Facebook-China rumors — Either Facebook is trying to buy its way into the Chinese social networking market or a lot of people in China wish it were. We reported on a rumor a couple of weeks ago that Facebook was trying to buy Zhanzuo, a Chinese Facebook-style social network that is backed by Sequoia.
The same — or at least very similar — rumor came around again this week. Facebook adamantly denied anything of the sort. Now, according to Interfax China, Facebook is trying to buy student-focused search engine Tianwang. We’re waiting to hear back from Facebook about this one.
Qunar, a Chinese travel search engine, raises $10 million — The round was led by Lehman Brothers Private Equity — yet another very large financial organization jumping into early-stage Chinese companies. Return investors include GSR Ventures and the Mayfield Fund. Alarm:Clock has more.