Alibaba Invests $50 Million in TV App Maker Peel

Chinese e-commerce company continues its push into Hollywood

Last Updated: October 9, 2014 @ 11:57 AM

Alibaba’s push into Hollywood is picking up steam. The enormous Chinese e-commerce company, which recently posted a world-record initial public offering in the United States, has invested $50 million in Peel, maker of a smart remote app for televisions.

The funding was actually given this spring, Re/code reported on Thursday, but Alibaba waited until after its mammoth September 2014 IPO to make the investment known. This isn’t the first round of Peel financing to come from Alibaba. In 2013, the group funded Peel to the tune of $5 million.

Also read: Alibaba Group Debuts on Wall Street with World-Record $25 Billion IPO

The Peel Smart Remote app, which debuted in 2012, turns Android and iOS smartphones and tablets into remote controls that work on TVs, PCs and other smart devices. Peel boasts more than 95 million users in 200 countries.

“They are more and more like a regular [venture capitalist],” Peel CEO Thiru Arunachalam told Re/code of Alibaba. “They pick a space and invest and let the company continue to progress.” He added, “They are very patient investors.”

See video: TheGrill: New Economy’s Top Investors Reveal Why ‘Sports Rights Are Beachfront Real Estate’

Peel earns its revenue by charging TV networks to promote their shows on the app, which displays listings and times. Arunachalam told Re/code that Peel will generate roughly $8 million in revenue this year and foresees $20 million in revenue next year.

Alibaba is generally considered the Chinese eBay.

Last month, Alibaba’s IPO bowed to the tune of $25 billion dollars, a world record. The stock opened at $92.70 per share.

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