Alibaba pumps $100 million into Vmate to grow its video app in India

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Chinese tech giant Alibaba is doubling down on India’s burgeoning video market, looking to fight back local rival ByteDance, Google, and Disney to gain its foothold in the nation. The company said today that it is pumping $100 million into Vmate, a three-year-old social video app owned by subsidiary UC Web.

Vmate was launched as a video streaming and short video sharing app in 2016. But in the years since, it has added features such as video downloads and 3-dimensional face emojis to expand its use cases. It has amassed 30 million users globally, and will use the capital to scale its business in India, the company told TechCrunch. Alibaba Group did not respond to TechCrunch’s questions about its ownership of the app.

The move comes as Alibaba revives its attempts to take on the growing social video apps market, something it has missed out completely in China. Vmate could potentially help it fill the gap in India. Many of the features Vmate offers are similar to those by ByteDance’s TikTok, which currently has more than 120 million active users in India. ByteDance, with valuation of about $75 billion, has grown its business without taking money from either Alibaba

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