(Yicai Global) Nov. 2 -- Square dancing is a leisure activity very popular among elderly Chinese that has attracted the attention of investors. Among dozens of square dancing-related apps for Android phones, the Tangdou Square Dancing app, which has 22.14 million downloads, has secured USD15 million in second round financing.
Beijing Mengzhichuang Digital Technology Co., which operates the Tangdou app, announced it had secured funds in second round financing led by Shunwei Venture Capital Co., an internet investment fund.
A number of square dancing apps including Tangdou Square Dancing, Galloping Age, 99 Square Dancing and Just Love Square Dancing have raised a combined more than CNY100 million from May-October this year, Beijing Business Today reported.
Around 80 million to 100 million people regularly practice square dancing in China, industry data shows. It is a choreographed formation dance, usually accompanied by either traditional music or remixes of old Chinese classics.
The square-dancing market is a budding market and players need to continue to explore profit models, insiders say. Square dancing apps mainly provide dance teaching videos and live-broadcasting services.
They can also be used to locate nearby dance teams and help users to upload their moves for communication and interaction with fellow dancers.
The modern version of square or public plaza dancing has its roots in both ancient and modern Chinese history. Dancing for exercise was popular thousands of years ago in Emperor Yao's China.
During the Song Dynasty, public spaces in cities were used for performances. Most of today's generation of women who regularly squaredance came of age during the Cultural Revolution, when folk dances were widely performed, often as propaganda.
Some have confirmed that this nostalgia is one of their reasons for taking part, however the benefits of exercise and social opportunities also play a role. Memorizing complex dance routines and moves can also aid the elderly with improving their memory skills.