Peel gets another major investment from Alibaba, strikes alliances in China

Smart remote control app maker Peel just got another major cash infusion from China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba. Peel and Alibaba didn’t disclose the amount of funding, but the investment comes after Alibaba gave Peel $5 million in cash in 2013, and I hear this second round of funding is larger than that previous round.

Peel made the funding announcement at the Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai this week, where it also unveiled a new mobile device maker partnership: China’s TCL will pre-install the Peel app on some if the phones it is distributing under its Alcatel Onetouch brand.

Peel already has a number of these kinds of mobile device partnerships, including with Samsung, HTC and China’s ZTE. Those partnerships have led to Peel having more than 75 million users that have activated the app, and use it to the tune of more than 4 billion remote control commands.

Peel CEO Thiru Arunachalam recently told me that about a third of the company’s users reside in the U.S.. Now, it’s evidently looking to grow its user base in China as well. As part of that strategy, the company also acquired Shanghai-based multiscreen startup Mozitek, which already has existing partnerships with local hardware manufactuers like TCL and Toshiba as well as carriers like China Telecom.