Shenzhen-based edtech startup Codemao, an online programming education platform for children, has raised RMB400 million (US$57 million) in a Series C financing round led by private equity fund Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF).
Other investors who participated in the round include Hillhouse Capital, SAIF Partners, Everbright New Economy Fund, state-owned Guangdong Technology Financial Group, and Hong Kong-based financial services company China Everbright Limited. Codemao’s existing investors including venture capital firm Crystal Stream Capital, Beijing-based mobile apps developer Cheetah Mobile Inc., and venture capital firm Green Pine Capital Partners also participated in the round.
Founded in 2015 by Li Tianchi and Sun Yue and operated by Shenzhen Dianmao Technology Company Limited, Codemao is the most popular programming education brand for children and teenagers in China. It provides online programming education for children from 3 to 18 years old. Committed to empower children to become creators by providing quality coding products and services, Codemao has developed several programming tools suitable for children and teenagers, including graphical coding, Python coding and 3D Box coding, and relevant courses. Students can use graphical coding language to create projects like games, software, animations and stories necessary to build their abilities of logical thinking, task dismantling, interdisciplinary connection, teamwork, etc.
Codemao claims that it has more than 31.47 million registered users and partnered with 11,500 public schools across cities, provinces and autonomous regions in China. In addition to domestic market, the company is also expanding to overseas markets including Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, US, and UK.
The company said that the new proceeds will be used for research and development of its curriculum and technology-driven services as well as to prepare for its upcoming listing on the Shanghai Stock Exchange’s science and technology innovation board, known as Star Market.
Meanwhile, the increasing enthusiasm for coding education in China comes as the country pushes further its ambitious plans to achieve global leadership in core technologies and as it moves to become an artificial intelligence powerhouse by promoting the development of domestic high-tech industries including robotics, aerospace, smart manufacturing, and autonomous vehicles.
Codemao has raised RMB1 billion (US$142 million) in around eight funding rounds since its founding in 2015. In the last round, the company has closed RMB300 million (US$43 million) in a Series B+ in 2018 from CMB International Capital Corporation Limited, Green Pine Capital Parners and private equity investment Xinyi Capital. According to reports, the company has booked over RMB200 million (US$28 million) in corporate income in the first three quarters in 2019.