Panoramic photography startup WeiPano Beta gets US$7.8 million investment
Weijing Tianxia, a developer of 360-degree panoramic photography technology, has raised RMB50 million in funding to further develop its niche in the tourism industry.
WeiPano Beta, a developer of 360-degree panoramic photography technology, has raised RMB50 million (approx: US$7.8 million) in funding to further develop its niche in the tourism industry.
WeiPano Beta's team
Its CEO Yongqiang Ning said the company is attractive to investors because the applications of the company’s technology are very broad. As a startup of only three months, Mr. Ning said WeiPano Beta has so far gained not only capital but also trust from investors.
WeiPano Beta is positioned as a provider of mobile online solutions for the tourism industry. It helps tourism attractions, hotels and farm attractions achieve “Online +” capabilities, and facilitates the implementation of smart tourism as per China National Tourism Administration’s “Notice on the implementation of ‘Attractions + Online’ plan”.
WeiPano Beta ’s 360-degree panoramic photography technology is the company’s key technology product with applications for the tourism industry. This technology helps produce 360-degree panoramic visuals to display a complete view of attractions, hotels and farmhouses. They can then be used as backdrops in convenient user guides for mobile devices.
It is different from the technology of virtual reality or augmented reality, in that it presents a location’s authentic elements. WeiPano Beta is also developing a panoramic camera that will go into mass production in the first half of next year, to enable users take pictures of themselves in panoramic shots.
WeiPano Beta also uses tilt photography technology to make 3D digital images of monuments and artifacts. With its exclusive technologies for shooting and post-production, WeiPano Beta can quickly and cost-effectively produce a finished image on mobile devices, to help speed up the digitization of attractions like ancient palaces and major museums.
WeiPano Beta boasts a blue-chip management team hailing from the technology, product and marketing fields of China’s “BAT” tech triumvirate–Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent, a key draw-card for investors. Its CEO Mr. Ning was one of the founders of Tencent’s city map technology and an advocate of State policy on China’s urban map industry. He still serves as a mapping consultant to Tencent.
WeiPano Beta is a service provider for famous attractions including the Palace Museum, the Great Wall and Thousand-Islands Lake. It is also forming partnerships with regional tourism authorities around the country. Unlike other O2O startups, Weijing Tianjia charges project fees, enabling it to build a steady cash flow despite its short history.
One investor said investors have never expected much in terms of cash flow from mobile internet startups as the majority of these startups tend to burn cash to build user base in the initial stages of operation. However, as the investment rush cools down, startups with a cash-burning business model are finding it extremely difficult to win more investments. On the other hand, reliable tech firms with stable cash-flow, like WeiPano Beta , have become sought-after investment targets.(Translation by David)