(Yicai Global) May 30 -- The team behind Leshi Holding's now-defunct sports-streaming service, LeSports, has secured USD5 million in funding for the development of a blockchain content platform from Newstyle Capital Investment Management.
The startup, known as Zhuafan, aims to create a blockchain-based app providing content such as live-streaming and short videos featuring internet celebrities, news site Jiemian News reported, adding that around 30 well-known personalities have already signed up.
Beijing-based LeSports set up shop in 2014, and rapidly expanded, acquiring rights to 310 sporting events including top-flight football from the UK and China. At one point it was the largest company in China's sports sector with a valuation of some CNY21.5 billion (USD3.4 billion). Mounting debts at parent firm Leshi, also known as LeEco, led to LeSports demise in late 2016 when it was no longer able to pay royalty fees culminating in its winding up and layoffs.
Zhuafan's 30-person team is made up of key figures from LeSports including former Chief Technology Officer Zhou Wenjian, while former Chief Executive Lei Zhenjian will not join at the present time. The app is expected to debut in June during this year's FIFA World Cup with the firm set to use soccer, a sport familiar to the team, as a platform for its launch.
Editor: William Clegg