Seven Ages Announces B+ Financing from the Alibaba Live Entertainment Business Group
BEIJING, May 17, 2018
Seven Ages, one of China’s leading musical production companies, announced on April 7, 2018 that it recently received B+ financing, the largest single investment to date in the country’s booming musical industry. The financing round was led by Alibaba’s Live Entertainment Business Group, and Seven Ages’ existing shareholder Legend Capital also followed with new investment.
This investment has given the Chinese musical industry a boost.
Alibaba’s Live Entertainment Business Group was founded in September 2017 as a move by Alibaba’s Digital Media and Entertainment Group to step into content creation, ticketing and live experience. The three roles will be assumed by MaiLive, Damai, and Maizuo respectively. Damai is one of China’s largest event ticketing platforms and was fully acquired by Alibaba in March 2017. MaiLive and Maizuo will work on supporting content partners and leveraging Alibaba’s data capability for offline shows.
The investment in Seven Ages will commence multi-dimensional and dynamic cooperation between the two parties. More specifically, Damai and Seven Ages will cooperate in license acquisition, local production, operation and talent training. Together they will push the envelope of theatre production and performance through the ‘Spotlight Project’. Seven Ages will also draw from the resources from wider sectors of Alibaba’s Digital Media and Entertainment Group to strengthen its core business of musical production and expand further into multi-media musical performance sector.
Years after the exponential growth of movie consumption in China, live entertainment like concerts, plays and musicals have gradually become a prominent part of how people choose to spend their income. Ivy Yang, the CEO and founder of Seven Ages, predicts that the Chinese musical business, which is currently a boutique sector among all Chinese cultural sectors, is the only remaining “blue ocean” in cultural investment, and this market will increase its revenue to ten figure levels (RMB).
Seven Ages Investment Co. Ltd., established in 2012, is a leading player in the production of Chinese language incarnations of top-notch musicals, touring throughout the Mainland. By dedicating itself to creating state-of-the-art production processes, as well as researching and initiating the most advanced marketing systems in China for productions, Seven Ages has truly set the standard for the Chinese musical theatre industry.
The frequent and ongoing collaboration with the best artists and technicians from abroad when coupled with simultaneous development of the considerable talent pool domestically, provides Chinese audiences with first-rate productions, and thrilling live-theatrical experiences. By 2017, Seven Ages has translated and localized to a first-class standard the following musicals: Man of La Mancha, Avenue Q, How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, The Sound of Music. And two new shows R&H’s Cinderella and Next to Normal are scheduled to open in 2018. By the end of 2017, Seven Ages has presented 1,000 performances in 50 cities through its strategic cooperation with China’s largest theatre management group, the Poly Theatre Group, an unparalleled record in the musical theatre industry in China.