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Golden Education 高顿教育 in China recently completed RMB 80 million Series C financing from lead-investors Hillhouse Capital and Morgan Stanley, as well as co-investors YongHua Capital and VKC Partners. Funds will be used to build a financial and economic education ecosystem with a strengthening development on AI, big data and cloud computing technology to deepen its applications on their operations to provide a personalized learning experience and better learning outcome.
Previously, Golden Education received USD35 million Series A strategic investment from New Oriental Group in 2014. In 2015, it won Series B investment from QianChenWuYou.
Golden Education was founded in 2006. At that time, the Ministry of Finance just released a new corporate accounting standards system. Chinese companies were suddenly in urgent need of adapting to the new system, but not every company’s financial team can handle the change and needed a professional organization to interpret the new accounting standards system and provide customized financial training to the companies.
With that opportunity, Golden Education launched the Finance and Taxation Institute for enterprises, providing companies with an entire array of finance and career development education to entry-level newcomers, financial managers, financial directors, as well as professional executives.
Golden Education found a surge in demand for financial training services but faced the painful problems such as lack of teaching content, outcome, and experienced teachers. Therefore, they collaborated with the top business schools, authoritative financial organizations and other resources to provide internationally recognized accounting examinations and qualifications such as ACCA, CFA, CPA and other global financial professional qualifications to kickstart programmes for individuals and their 2C services.
After 2010, with the popularization of mobile Internet and 4G, new technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence, and cloud computing have begun to be commercialized, and they are slowly being incorporated online into corporates and individual. Golden began to develop various online educational platforms, from online courses to online schools, to their very own EP (Effective Path) intelligent learning platforms, Quora-like Gbot smart questions, interactive live broadcast platform Glive, their offline education centres ‘Smart school’, and financial talent assessment systems. These products combine to provide professional and systematic financial knowledge products and services.
In the teaching and research faculty, Golden has developed a standardized teaching program, of which 83% are from overseas and 75% are at least above master’s degree standards. Golden Education also partnered with universities and organizations such as Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SHUFE), Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE), Shanghai International Studies University (SHISU) and East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) to develop teaching resources and content.
Currently, Golden Education has more than 40 branches and more than 20 branch campuses across the country. They have 50,000 corporate clients including GE, Coca-Cola and other Fortune 500 companies, on top of 3 million individual users.
Hillhouse Capital pointed out that Golden Education has differentiated themselves by incorporating big data into their business operations to serve both the 2B and 2C market, thereby creating a healthy loop. This has huge market potential and brings about a positive impact on the correct mindset in finance education.
With the rise of the new middle class, financial investments may become the main instrument of investment. A financial education paid platform owner told KrASIA’s parent company 36Kr that the future financial investment demand will accelerate and directly affect the demand for financial knowledge, especially in specialized financial knowledge. Under the macro-environment of unbalanced national financial development, business education and social class imbalance, the demand for financial content (such as wealth management and investment) will be more prominent and has high market potential.