Jun 21, 2018 (China Knowledge) - China's VIPKID, an online education startup platform that matches Chinese students with North American teachers, has confirmed the completion of USD 500 million series D+ round of financing. This is the largest financing for the global online education industry to date, which will undoubtedly further consolidate VIPKID's position as an industry leader. VIPKID became the only educational startup with a valuation of more than RMB 20 billion (USD 3 billion) after this financing is completed.
According to VIPKID, the series D+ round of financing was led by investors including Coatue Management, Tencent Holdings Ltd, Sequoia Capital China and Jack-Ma-backed Yunfeng Fund.
China's VIPKID was founded four years ago and is currently the world's largest online education institution. The data shows that the number of North American foreign teachers in the platform has exceeded 40,000, and the number of students who paid for the services expanded to 300,000. The Beijing-based startup covers 35 countries and regions in the world, and most of its businesses originate through the word of mouth from existing users.
According to the statistics, the total amount of financing in the K12 education field in China in the first half of 2018 was approximately USD 1.5 billion, and the VIPKID got a one-third amount of financing in the market. Together with the USD 200 million D-round financing obtained in August last year, VIPKID has raised USD 700 million in less than one year, setting the world's highest record of financing obtained in the world's online education sector for two consecutive years.
Compared with previous education reforms, VIPKID has applied large-scale technological revolutions such as artificial intelligence and big data to the education field, accelerating the emergence of global online education era. Today, VIPKID has integrated teachers, products, and services together in an internet ecosystem that specializes in the education domain, creating a potential trillion-dollar market.
Cindy Mi, founder and CEO of VIPKID, has expressed that VIPKID will strive to enhance the teaching quality and improve student's learning experience.
"Teaching quality is the foundation of good education and VIPKID aims to provide the children a better learning experience. From the perspective of teachers, we have established the most stringent screening system for online foreign teachers in the world. The foreign teachers in North America can provide the best quality teaching services for the children. In addition, we focus on solving users' problems. By applying artificial intelligence, face recognition and other technologies, we hope it will become our core competitive advantage and be able to give real-time feedback and iterative educational products and systems. Many children will benefit from (these) personalized learning opportunities," Mi said.
According to the Chinese Academy of Online Children's English Education 2017 white paper, VIPKID currently accounts for 55% of the online education market for children in China.
The financing will also further consolidate VIPKID's leading edge in education and research. Not long ago, VIPKID's self-developed online teaching materials, with its international standards of teaching, research and innovation capabilities, was short-listed for the finalist list of the US "Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA)" Codie Awards.
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