Chinese online education platform Huohua Siwei has raised $150 million in a Series E1 round of funding led by global investment firm KKR & Co, the company has announced recently.
The company’s existing investors, including global venture capital firm GGV Capital, China-focused VC GSR Ventures, real estate manager Longfor Properties’ investment platform Longfor Capital, Sequoia Capital China, and investment firm IDG Capital also participated in the round.
The latest funding round comes after Huohua saw its paying users increased significantly in recent months following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which led to increased demand for online education in China. The Beijing-based company claims to have recorded a nearly 67% growth in paying users in the past four months to about 250,000 from 150,000 in late April 2020.
Founded in 2017, Huohua Siwei offers mathematics and critical thinking courses, as well as Chinese language learning classes to K-12 children. It offers interactive classrooms and strong interactive game to develop students’ ability of thinking, concentration, and other core skills. The platform focuses on the young mathematics thinking training, with three main modules: spatial thinking and graphics, computing power, and logical reasoning.
Huohua Siwei also recently expanded its offerings by launching AI enlightenment course, and an English-language learning course for kids aged from three to five.
According to Luo Jian, Founder and CEO of Huohua Siwei, the company currently has over 1,000 product developers and teaching content researchers, investing an average of more than 30 million yuan ($4 million) in research and development every month. He also said that the company has a subscription renewal rate of 80% and generates about 200 million yuan ($29 million) in monthly revenues.
With the latest round of funding, Huohua is said to have raised a total of $340 million to date. According to a company’s statement, Chinese new economy-focused boutique investment bank Lighthouse Capital served as the exclusive financial adviser to the latest deal.
According to Crunchbase, Huohua Siwei has last raised $30 million in a Series D+ round led by video-sharing app Kuaishuo in April this year. Prior to that, the Beijing-based company has also raised $85 million in a Series D round in August 2019 at a reported valuation of $500 million. The round was led by GGV Capital and KKR, with participation from Sequoia Capital China, IDG Capital, Northern Light Venture Capital (NLVC), Hike Capital, Lightspeed China Partners, and GSR Ventures.