Today, Entertainment Capital’s subsidiary Duojiao Entertainment Investment caught wind that Zhejiang Lengjing Cultural Media has successfully completed its Series Pre-A funding thanks to a 30m RMB investment from Shanghai Rongzheng Capital. Entertainment Capital was the sole financial advisor.
“We’ve accomplished something truly unique and innovative,” says Lengguang’s founder Xu Min, “this is a monumental step in the cultural industry to gives us a lot to look forward to.”
Founded in August 2017, Lengguang Entertainment is one of the world’s leading holographic technology and content companies, focusing on creating and presenting original holographic content. Furthermore, the company has even gone as far as to build its exclusive holographic theater to provide the consumers with the most immersive experience possible.
Rongzheng Capital’s founder Zheng Peimin also told Duojiao that Rongzheng is a company focused on the investment in cultural industries, including television, sports, tourism, luxury goods, and education. Some of their biggest projects to have invested in are Rucker Park (not to be confused with THE Rucker Park in Harlem), Kaixin Mahua Theater, Great Wall Movie, and Wishart Media.
“We love seeing the crossover of different industries. Lengjing, for instance, spans live entertainment, tourism, and technology. We’re one of the first to use technology–let alone holographs–as the main attraction for tourism and live entertainment.”
Rongzheng also expressed its high praise for Lengjing’s business models; the company believes that Lengjing is able to integrate its resources in technology, intellectual property, government contact, and tourism very well.
Duojiao has learned that although Lengjing is a fairly new startup, the company’s aims are ambitiously high. In fact, the company has already obtained exclusive holographic rights to Leslie Cheung’s and Beyond’s likeness from Universal records, as well as the performance rights to the show The Legend of Teresa Teng from Digital Domain.
In June this year, The Legend of Teresa Teng will be the company’s first project to be debuted at its Lengjing Entertainment Holographic Theater situated next to the West Lake.
Concept art depiction of The Legend of Teresa Teng
Moreover, Lengjing plans to combine original content with licensed ones to create its own iterations of productions such as Dreams of the South Song Dynasty, Angels of Dunhuang, and Ode to Pear Flowers, attracting tourists while preserving the country’s intangible cultural heritage.
In the holographic field, most companies are mainly focused on the pure technological side of things, acting as the presenter of technology. In contrast, Lengjing gathered talents from various industries to focus on creating top-notch content above anything else; combined with its unique offline business model, the company is able to quickly gain markets hare at major tourism cities.
In fact, holographic technology isn’t a new concept. We’ve seen plenty of examples of it in movies like Star Trek, Ready Player One etc. Also, concerts of many virtual idols are also performed using holographs.
Ready Player One
However, different from companies that only focus on the technology, Lengjing also becomes the content creator and promoter, completing the production line of high-quality holographic content.
“Without attractive content, it is actually pretty hard to make gains in the technological front, because, without commercial success, we simply cannot afford to hire the top talent in the industry,” says Xu Min, “the cultural industry as a whole in China is largely an oligopoly, if not a monopoly, meaning most of the resources are being controlled by famous directors, artists and those with large amounts of capital. In other words, it would be very difficult to enter a stable market like this with a traditional approach.”
On the other hand, the entertainment industry isn’t really one that’s formulaic, meaning that there isn’t a single golden standard to follow in order to achieve success. “The popularity of this project has nothing to do with the next. If you dig deeper, you’ll see that even ‘successful’ projects tend to have fluctuations in its revenues.”
Knowing this, Xu Min and his team wanted to use cutting edge technology to elevate itself among its competition to play in a relatively new, broader field where they can take the lead.
“We spent the majority of our early days preparing, building a multi-industry team. We wanted talents from IT, entertainment, music, and business industries to create a force that can sustain,” says Xu Min.
But why give the rights to a start-up?
“The rights holders obviously gave the matter a lot of consideration before finally giving us the green light. I think it’s our business model that won their trust.”
Xu thinks that the collaboration is really a win-win. For example, obtaining rights to Leslie Cheung’s content gives Lengjing access to some of the most popular libraries of all time, and Universal Records can also benefit in the form of increased record sales.
In the long run, holographic technology can be used in almost all sectors of the entertainment industry. However, in order to pace itself, Lengjing is only planning to work on tourism, augmented reality, and public education.
“When we choose content, we look at the general trend of the market and determine which types of content drive the most traffic.” As of today, the company’s biggest “weapons” are licenses to the content of Leslie Cheung, Beyond, and Teresa Teng, three of the biggest names in the Chinese music industry, captivating generations of people.
In terms of tourism, Lengjing has already been planning its theater debut show in Hangzhou. Xu Min told us that the project was even written into the local government report as a key project for the city. “This is truly a win-win-win.”
Lengjing also plans to tap into the younger generation’s “otaku” culture. “The content will include anime, games, and virtual idols. We’re currently working with leading companies to bring these projects to life.”
Lastly, in response to the Department of Culture, the company will also continue to preserve China’s cultural heritage by putting its high-tech spin on classic perfomances.
“Retro has been a buzzword in recent years, and it can be easily yet effectively achieved with holographs. Our goal is to preserve China’s culture by making it accessible to the modern generation.”
Lengjing first debuted as a company at the 2017 Hangzhou Cultural Expo, where it received tremendous response from the general public, especially in the tourism industry. The head of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Luo Shugang even brought along tourism ministers from 15 other countries to check out their booth, after which they seemed very impressed.
Rongzheng’s Zheng Peimin is very hopeful of the future of holographic technology combined with entertainment, as he says, “This technology already has considerable commercial value. Once it can be accessible to the general population, the ripple effect will be huge.
Translated by Kane Ge
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