China’s leading online education company Yuanfudao has raised $300 million in a new funding round from Jack Ma’s private equity investment firm Yunfeng Capital.
It’s the company’s third funding round this year, and it comes just two months after it closed its last round in October.
Previously in March, Yuanfudao raised $1 billion in its Series G round led by its existing investor Tencent Holdings and Hillhouse Capital with participation from Boyu Capital and IDG Capital. In October, the company announced the completion of its $2.2 billion Series G round with an additional funding of $1.2 billion in Series G2 round led by DST Global, with participation from CITICPE, GIC, Temasek, TBP, DCP, Ocean Link, Greenwoods, and Danhe Capital.
The Series G2 round in October pushed Yuanfudao’s total valuation to $15.5 billion, up from $7.8 billion when it closed its Series G1 round in March, and made the Beijing-based online education platform become the most valuable company worldwide in the education technology space. Its post-round valuation surpassed that of India’s BYJU’s, who held the position at the time with $11.1 billion valuation.
Founded in 2012, Yuanfudao provides K-12 after school tutoring, pre-school enlightenment and adult education services to over 400 million users across China. It offers a range of education products, including live tutoring platform Yuanfudao, Zebra AI Class, online question bank Yuantiku, question searching app Xiaoyuan Souti, and arithmetic problem checking app Xiaoyuan Kousuan, among others. As of March, the company has 11 teaching and curriculum development centres across the country.
Yuanfudao is the leading brand for China’s primary and secondary school online courses, while its Zebra AI Class is the largest online course platform for pre-school education in China. The company claims that these two major online course platforms currently serve approximately 4 million students, who use their regular-priced courses. This makes Yuanfudao the largest online education company in China by number of students.
Yuanfudao has reportedly generated total revenues of $1.53 billion this year, becoming the highest-grossing player in the competitive online education sector.
China’s education technology sector is keeping its momentum going with new users and investors alike continue to flock to the space, all thanks to COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from Yuanfudao, other major EdTech players such as Zhangmen and Zuoyebang have raised multiple hundred millions of dollars this year. Shanghai-based online tutoring platform Zhangmen has raised $400 million from a host of investors in October, and Yuanfudao’s close rival Zuoyebang has raised $750 million, valuing at $11 billion, in June 2020.