“Back then, the Tech Media and Telecoms (TMT) sector was not as mature or stable, so we had to work hard on our skills to satisfy the demands of our users.”

Yan Tang, Founder of Momo

Momo

Type

Social Network

Founder(s)

Yan Tang, Xiaoliang Lei,
Zhiwei Li

Year Invested

2011

Investment Stage

Angel (Sept 2011)

Company Intro

Momo is the most popular location-based social networking and services app in China. With more than 200 million registered users, Momo serves to connect primarily young communities throughout the country. Having launched a successful Nasdaq initial public offering in December 2014, Momo has continued to grow strongly, sourcing multi-million dollar revenues from streams including live broadcasting services, member subscriptions, mobile marketing and mobile gaming.

Website

“We’ve grown from a social network model that provides members with added-value services to a platform that includes games, integrated advertising and live broadcasting.”
Yan Tang, Co-founder of Momo

Yan (Momo)

"Scott is a risk-taker with an adventurous spirit. I didn’t really need to convince him, he invested because he was already a Momo user – he understood how Momo works and appreciated the user experience."

Scott (PurpleSky)

"Yan is a really social guy who understands what people want. He’s very down to earth and has a real understanding of social trends. I was very confident that he and his wife, who is a very talented product designer, would take Momo a long way from the angel stage."

The Story

Scott
A friend introduced me to Momo, which had been on the market just two weeks. I launched the App Store, found the developer and his phone number, and made the call. Tang asked if we could meet the next day, so I flew overnight from Shanghai to Beijing.
Yan
At that time, I had a competitive team and a good product. My wife was responsible for the design. The rest of the team were with us from the beginning to work on product design and the technical aspects of the application.
Scott
It took 15 minutes to make the decision. Many years experience using social networks allowed me to realize the uniqueness of Momo: simple and easy to use. A good social tool should be like this. The Momo team also had a good sense of the product and interpersonal communication.
Yan
Did he take a risk? Yes, I think so – PurpleSky was the only angel who was with us at that stage, but they supported us all the way through to IPO.
Scott
I recently learned that more than 30 VCs had rejected Momo before we cooperated. But my instinct told me I made the right decision. Momo was well-designed and had a concise interface, while other, similar products had weak design, with obvious flaws like poor font or color choice.
Yan
The most valuable benefit of the partnership is that PurpleSky does not interfere in specific aspects of the business. They cooperated rather than tried to control us. That’s very difficult and worthy of high praise. The whole process was smooth, straightforward and super efficient.
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