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Edtech firm iHuman surges 33.3% in NYSE debut

Written by Song Jingli Published on 

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The company’s childhood education apps have gathered 10.3 million monthly active users in the second quarter of 2020, up 222% year-on-year.

Beijing-based education company iHuman, also known as Hongen in China, closed at USD 16 on Friday, its first trading day on the New York Stock Exchange, up 33.3% from its initial public offering price (IPO) of USD 12.

The company, which trades under the ticker IH, had raised USD 84 million by selling 7 million American depositary shares to public investors, according to the IPO prospectus filed on Friday.

Founded in 2016, iHuman has rolled out a slew of educational apps, including iHuman Chinese, which teaches kids from three to eight years old Chinese characters with cartoons and games, iHuman Magic Math, focused on math education, and iHuman English World, for English learning.

Taken together, the company’s childhood education apps have gathered 10.3 million monthly active users in the second quarter of 2020, up 222% year-on-year (YoY). Out of those, 1.4 million users have paid for content inside these apps in that quarter, up 250% year-on-year (YoY, according to the IPO prospectus.

iHuman’s total revenues nearly doubled from RMB 131.9 million in 2018 to RMB 218.7 million (USD 30.9 million) in 2019. The company’s revenue growth continued this year when the COVID-19 pandemic shifted learning from classrooms to online. The firm reported RMB 125.4 million (USD 17.7 million) in revenues in the first six months of this year, compared to RMB 54.3 million (USD 7.7 million) in the first half of 2019.

China digest

iHuman incurred net losses of RMB 275.6 million (USD 39 million) in 2019, but recorded a net income of RMB 5.6 million (USD 0.8 million) in the six months of this year.

While the online education sector in China is crowded with young companies like Yuanfudao, Palfish, and IvyDad, iHuman’s history dates back to 1996 when Hongen Education launched its first product, named software Genesis, which taught adults how to use computers at a time when computed adoption was still rare in China, according to the firm’s prospectus

Hongen Education later focused on English education and released several learning books targeting adults in 1997. The company went live with a website for English learning in 2000 and unveiled English learning books for children in 2001. Hongen Education is now fully controlled by iHuman, according to the prospectus.

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