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Next Entertainment wants to make it possible to live stream for a living

A Taiwan-based startup called Next Entertainment has raised $25 million {in an|within an|in a} outsized Series A round of funding for apps that make it possible to live stream for {a living|a full time income|an income}.

The companys founder and CEO, Andy Zhong, {is no|is not any|isn’t any} stranger to tech and new media. He previously started FunPlus , a social gaming company acquired by a Chinese conglomerate, Zhongji, in 2014for $960 million.

In fact , FunPlus is one of the investors in Next Entertainment, {along with|alongside|along side} China social live-streaming giants Inke, which incubated the new company.

For the unfamiliar, Inke is a major live-streaming appin China that brings {everyday|every day|each and every day} users together in {chat rooms|boards|forums} where {they can|they are able to|they could} interact withand broadcast {alongside|along with|along side} a known or emerging personality.

Inkes app allows viewers {to pay|to cover|to pay for} live streamers with virtual gifts {that they|they|which they} purchase in-app. Think of it like a video conference call crossed with a YouTubers latest meme-ready installment with a tip jar. Inke also gained note {for its|because of its|for the} beautify filters that are {meant to|designed to|supposed to} help users feel confidentbefore they live stream.

Next Entertainment is aiming to export andmirror the success of its predecessor Inke beyond China.

Its flagship app, available in Taiwan now, {is called|is named|is known as} MeMe. It allows users to build a following, {connect with|connect to|interact with} viewers and make money through ads and digital {gifts|presents|gift ideas}.

Streamers can click the camera button and choose {if they|should they|when they} want beautify or {not|maybe not|perhaps not} before they start alive stream. Viewers canfollow popular streamers, or streamers theyve discovered and like, and interact with them, or {each other|one another}, sending them social {gifts|presents|gift ideas} as they would on Inke.

And userscan check nearby to interact withlocally based streamers.

{The company|The business|The organization} will take a category-specific approach in the U. S. with apps dedicated to live streaming around special interests for sports fans, Zhong tells TechCrunch.

Zhong said Next Entertainment will also gamify its apps. Both viewers and streamers will {gain access to|access|get access to} different features by doing certain activities {as they|because they|while they} level up.

Additional investors in Next Entertainments Series A round include: GSR Ventures, Mayfield and Signia Venture Partners.

The companys competition in the U. S. will include {everyone|every one|everybody} from Facebook Live, Snapchat and Twitter to newcomers like Kanvas , or genre-specific mobile social networks {that have|which have} incorporated live streaming, {such as|such as for example|such as for instance} Nom.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2016/12/15/next-entertainment-wants-to-make-it-possible-to-livestream-for-a-living/