Chinese online tutoring platform Zuoyebang announced it has raised $750 million in a fresh funding round led by Chinese private equity firm FountainVest Partners and international investment firm Tiger Global Management.
Other investors participated in the Series E round include new investor Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), and previous backers SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital China, Tiantu Capital, and Xiang He Capital, according to a statement released by the company on Monday.
Zuoyebang, launched in 2014 as a program incubated under Chinese search engine giant Baidu’s Q&A site Baidu Zhidao before being spun off in 2015, is a K-12 online tutoring firm that allows students to upload their homework questions and search for answers on its platform. It uses artificial intelligence to identify the question and its answers. The platform also offers one-on-one Q&A sessions and live-streaming courses.
The Chinese education technology major is currently working with 113 educational organizations and 370,000 primary and high schools across China. It claims to have 800 million registered users, with more than 170 million monthly active users, over 50 million daily active users, and 12 plus million paid users on its platform.
Zuoyebang aimed to have witnessed strong growth in its live-streaming business. It said its full price subscriptions has rocketed by more than 10 times over the past two years and increased 400% year-on-year in 2019. The firm also said to have registered more than 1.3 million users for the 2020 spring semester live-streaming courses.
Revealing the financing in an internal letter, which was made public on Monday, Zuoyebang’s founder and CEO, Hou Jianbin, said the fresh proceeds will be invested in course development and new products as well as the innovation of new models and new businesses.
Meanwhile, the funding comes even as the world continues to battle COVID-19 pandemics, and as education technology continues to be one of the few sectors that thrive amid the global crisis, as students continue learning from home.
Zuoyebang had previously raised $500 million in a Series D+ round from SoftBank Vision Fund in November 2018. Just prior to this, the company had raised $350 million in a Series D round in July 2018 from investors including Goldman Sachs, Coatue Management, GGV Capital, Taihecap, Sequoia China, Primavera Capital, Xiang He Capital, Tiantu Capital, and New Enterprise Associates. The company’s other investors include Legend Capital and H Capital. Zuoyebang is said to have raised about $1.33 billion to date.