Chinese Android application developer APUS Group has closed $100 million in Series B funding. Chengwei Capital, SIG and Qiming Venture Partners led the round with participation from return backers Redpoint Ventures and Northern Light Venture Capital.
SAN FRANCISCO — JANUARY 27, 2015 — APUS Group, a Beijing-based Android application development company that focuses on creating products and services that enhance the mobile experience for users worldwide, announced that it has raised $100 million in a Series B round of financing led by Chengwei Capital, SIG and Qiming Venture Partners with participation from its Series A round investors: Redpoint Ventures and Northern Light Venture Capital. Founded in June 2014, APUS Group launched its first product on July 2. Within six months of its release, the APUS Launcher reached the milestone of 90 million users with 70 million MAU. This round of financing brings the Company’s total funds raised to $116 million.
“Between the initial formation of APUS Group and its first round of funding, the investment community’s belief and support in the APUS team continues to inspire us to double, triple and quadruple our efforts,” said Tao Li, founder and CEO of APUS Group. “The company’s strong team is its most valuable asset — they were able to create products that together serve as the smallest, fastest and simplest user systems for Android in just a few short months that brought an entirely new experience to Android users.”
Committed to creating innovative products, APUS Group has released apps such as: APUS Launcher, APUS Booster, APUS Mobile Search, APUS App Radar, APUS Notification, and APUS Tools, all of which were developed to enable the best user experience for Android users. In addition to apps, APUS Group has also innovated on redesigning features that include screen-switching folders, location-based app recommendations, mobile search for local content and applications, a monolayer desktop interface for Android, System Quick Setup, and wallpaper UGC.
These industry-leading features have been widely welcomed by the market, establishing APUS as the most popular Android user system worldwide as well as the market’s most emulated Android launcher. APUS Group places heavy emphasis on the user experience and thus ensures that all of its products together only take up 1M to 2M of space so that smartphones run smoother on the APUS Launcher as it conserves both battery and RAM.
Since the release of APUS Launcher, the app’s user base has seen astronomical growth, netting 1 million users in its first week and 90 million in its sixth month with the proportion of its MAU exceeding 80%. By November 2014, APUS Group had become one of the world’s top ten applications developers, ranking APUS Launcher among the world’s top apps from companies including Facebook, Baidu and more. Amongst features, mobile search, application radar, and cleanup and speed boost have become the most frequently used applications.
The Company aims to help more Chinese mobile Internet products and services go abroad and to expand into global markets. APUS aims to become the bridge and platform by which China’s mobile Internet products are able to tackle overseas markets.
About APUS Group
Founded in 2014 by a team led by Tao Li, the former vice president of Qihoo 360, APUS Group’s mission is to provide the best mobile experience to the world’s 3 billion Android smartphone users. By developing applications that optimizes the Android operating system to make it easier to use, more convenient, and faster, APUS Group is dedicated to reimaging the UI and UX for the world’s fastest growing mobile operating system.
About Chengwei Ventures LLC
Chengwei Capital, founded in 1999 and based in Shanghai, China, is a venture capital firm targeting investments in the following sectors: communication software, enterprise software, financial services, IC design, niche component manufacturing, healthcare, and media sectors. Geographically, Chengwei Capital prefers investments in China.
SIG’s global private equity practices focus on identifying opportunities and leveraging SIG’s broad expertise, reach, and resources to succeed through two distinct business entities: Susquehanna Growth Equity, LLC and SIG Asia Investments, LLLP. SIG Asia Investments, LLLP (SAI) is focused on private equity investing in companies operating in the People’s Republic of China. SAI has a wholly foreign owned enterprise based in Shanghai, with a branch office in Beijing. SAI invests across the continuum of the venture capital life-cycle, from early to late stage, and in a variety of industry sectors. For more information, please visit: http://www.sig.com/
About Qiming Venture Partners
Qiming Venture Partners invests in young, fast-growing companies across China in the media and internet, IT, consumer and retail, healthcare, and clean technology sectors. We’re an early to growth stage venture capital firm with offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. Since our debut in 2006, we’ve established ourselves as a leading investment firm in China and currently manage four USD funds and three RMB funds with over $1.7 billion in assets. For more information, please visit: http://www.qimingventures.com/
About Redpoint Ventures
Since 1999, the Redpoint team has been partnering with visionary founders who create new markets or redefine existing ones. From the earliest stages, Redpoint partners have supported over 350 companies, 44 IPOs and 73 upside acquisitions. Industry-defining investments include HomeAway, Fortinet, Qihoo, Right Media, Heroku, Netflix, Tivo, Juniper, among many others. Today, Redpoint manages over $3.3 billion across multiple funds and invests in disruptive founders and companies at the seed, early and growth stages. For more information, please visit: http://www.redpoint.com/
About Northern Light Venture Capital
Northern Light Venture Capital (NLVC) is a leading China-focused venture capital firm targeting early and early growth stage opportunities. We partner with select entrepreneurs with groundbreaking ideas and exceptional vision to build world-class companies. Each NLVC team member brings a strong investment track record and cross-border expertise in entrepreneurship, engineering and operations. Our work is governed by a singular goal: to provide guidance, network and resources that companies need to thrive.
Founded in 2005, NLVC has emerged as a top venture capital firm along with the rapidly growing Chinese economy. To date, we’ve backed nearly 100 companies. We manage approximately US$ 1 billion in committed capital with 3 US$ funds and 3 RMB funds. Our funds have attracted leading institutional investors from the United States, Europe and Asia, including sovereign funds, endowments and foundations. For more information, please visit: http://www.nlightvc.com/en/