Youa.com, the lifestyle information platform owned by Chinese search engine Baidu, has gained joint investments from the venture capital organization IDG-Accel and Qiming Venture Partners, and it will now officially start independent operations.
Youa.com, which was formerly a business department of Baidu, will reportedly be separated from its parent company and it has already completed the registration as a new company. With the arrival of initial capital, the new company can start independent operation immediately.
Cai Hu, general manager for the e-commerce business department of Baidu, is the new chief executive officer of the company. In addition, the executive team has been decided and new recruitment has been launched for the company.
After the independent operation, Baidu will still hold the controlling rights to Youa.com. Launched on October 28, 2008, Youa.com was previously a C2C e-commerce website; however, in April 2011, Baidu announced a business transformation plan concerning Youa.com, which started focusing on localized lifestyle information. It now provides lifestyle information to users in difference cities, covering marriage, maternity, family service, training, food, beverage, sports, and entertainment. It also provides local vendors with Internet promotion services.
Cai said the development of Youa.com has entered a new stage. Integrating with Baidu's advantages and resources in the Internet search area, they will focus on the establishment of an one-stop lifestyle information and service platform. By introducing venture capital partners and realizing independent operation, the company can better manage opportunities in the fast growing Internet and e-commerce markets.