Alifilo, a Shanghai-based IP marketing company, recently received $16 million in its Series A+ funding round led by Sequoia China and Two Point O Fund. The proceeds will be used for further cooperation with top museums, expanding its team and developing content, according to Mr. Yizan He, founder and chairman of Alifilo.
Alifilo currently has exclusive licenses and operation rights to six world-class museums, including the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Gallery of Britain, the Boston Museum of Art and BBC Earth. The company bought out the museum IPs, gaining exclusive and long-term rights to recreate related art work and sell through online and offline channels, as well as import replicas of their exhibits.
Alifilo has been partnering with the Alibaba Group and JD.com to expand marketing channels. Alifish, the licensing and entertainment business unit of Alibaba, channeled the first wave of high-quality merchants to Alifilo. Additionally, Alifilo has launched 300-plus co-branded products with JD.com on the World Museum IPs Day this year.
So far, Alifilo has helped museums launch co-branded products with merchants across 3C, FMCG, cosmetics, lifestyle and commercial real estate. Xiaomi, Kindle, Yili, Biostime and the Beast Shop were among the merchants.
Alifilo makes revenue from brand cooperation with merchants, as well as online and offline retail stores selling cultural and creative items.
At the end of 2018, Qingdao-based hotelier SunMei opened its new hotel themed after the British Museum. It is Alifilo’s first attempt in the cultural and travel industry. The two companies jointly designed “Egypt” and “Greece” themed guest rooms and exhibited 1:1 art work replicas in the hotel lobby. The public space incorporates an art exhibition hall, artwork retail stores and a joint office area. Trip.com shows that the room rates for the luxury king-sized rooms and the Nile-themed rooms, valid on Oct 25, were 589 yuan and 989 yuan per night respectively.
Alifilo will focus on cooperation with cultural and travel groups to build similar complexes at home. Acknowledging its advantages in IP operation, Mr. He said the company would continue its role as an “IP content operator”, while investment and operation of heavy assets would be handled by its partners. (Translated by Elena)