Alibaba owned mobile business platform UCWeb will invest Rs 200 crore over the next 2 years into its India and Indonesia operations. The funds will primarily be used to support UC News features which includes news aggregation as well the blogging platform integrated within UC News. This is UCWeb’s second investment into the country after it earlier invested a part of $170 million in 2013 for global expansion in countries including India.
The fresh investment comes just days after UCNews announced that it would start compensating top bloggers, writers and self-publishers through its earlier launched blogging platform called WE-Media. UCWeb said that the investment will help grow the platform which witnessed a growth in non-news news related content like blog posts, independent write ups, imagery feeds, videologs, and short video content. The company claims that the platform’s pageviews increased by 184% and 348% month-on-month, but did not mention the time-period of this growth.
Note that its news aggregation feature earlier debuted on the UCWeb browser but was later launched separately as an app titled UCNews in India in June last year. The app features news content in 20 different categories including news, cricket, technology, entertainment, lifestyle and movies. It is currently available in Hindi and English language options. In India, the UC Browser crossed 100 million monthly active users (MAUs) in November last year.
Apart from this, UCWeb also provides an ecommerce shopping aggregation feature on its Android app store called 9Apps which aggregates products and pricing offers from companies like Paytm, Flipkart, Myntra, Snapdeal, Jabong, Askmebazar, Voonik and Shopclues.
In November last year, the company had signed content partnerships with Colors TV and Fox Star Studios and other Bollywood production houses to add more video content to its content library. The partnerships were made via Alibaba’s Digital Media and Entertainment Group, which recently received an investment of $1.48 billion into the unit.
Apart from this, UCNews had partnered with Twitter and Microsoft Bing to add aggregated cricket content on its UC Cricket feature, which provides live scores, photos, videos, reviews, etc. UC Browser tied up with Flipkart in April last year to add the ecommerce portal on its home screen along with enhanced shopping experience for the browser’s users.