VIPKID, China’s leading online education company, announced on Thursday it has closed a USD 500 million Series D+ round co-led by Coatue, Tencent, Sequoia Capital China, and Yunfeng Capital, marking the world’s largest funding round in the online education sector to date.
The Beijing-based company is now valued at over RMB 20 billion (US$2.9 billion).
Founded in 2013, VIPKID claims to be the world’s largest online English education platform. The company connects Chinese students aged 4-12 with teachers in North America to learn English.
According to MI Wenjuan, founder and CEO of VIPKID, the company plans to use the fresh funds to recruit more teachers in North America and expand its technology team and product team to sharpen its competitive edge. The funds will also support its globalization plan and diversify its offerings.
The Beijing-based company looks to expand beyond English teaching and is mulling to add math and other subjects to its current classes, according to people familiar with the matter. Outside of China, in last August, VIPKID kicked off a Mandarin-learning platform Lingo Bus that targets overseas kids.
The market size for China’s online education industry is estimated to reach RMB 348 billion (USD 53.6 billion) in 2018, according to a report by consulting agency iiMedia. VIPKID is competing with companies including TAL- and Tiger Management Corporation-backed DadaABC, 51Talk which went public in 2016, as well as NYSE-listed New Oriental Education & Technology.
Editor: Jason Zheng