Customers line up in front of Block 12's offline store in Beijing. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
Block 12, a startup specializing in creating digital-age intellectual property or IP in the form of comic characters, emojis and the like, announced on Monday that it had raised 43 million yuan (.8 million) in its fresh round of financing.
The move marks the company's success in transforming from an IP operating company to a pan-entertainment firm covering a well-rounded industry chain, including creating, marketing and licensing IP both online and offline.
The latest round of financing, led by ZhenFund, will be used for the development and commercialization of original IPs.
"We will continue to create more IPs embedded with unique Chinese culture, in a bid to provide youngsters with more interactive and interesting user experience," said Wang Biao, founder of Block 12.
The Beijing-headquartered firm owns over 100 popular emojis, including Zhangcao Yantuanzi, or Budding Pop, as well as Zhileng Shaonyu or Freeze Girl.
Latest data from the company showed that its emojis have been downloaded 1 billion times and used 22 billion times as of March this year.
It has also created a new form of retail by combining retail with emojis through installing a claw crane, also called a teddy picker or a game machine that dispenses dolls, in Beijing's Sanlitun, a trendy business and lifestyle district. All of the toys and dolls in the machine are Block 12's IP.