Zhangmen, a Chinese online tutoring platform, has raised $400 million in a new funding round to provide high-quality personalized education services to primary and secondary school students in China.
The Shanghai-based education technology company secured the funds from a host of investors, which include SoftBank, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, International Finance Corporation (IFC), Genesis Capital, and CMC Capital, according to a report by 36Kr.
Founded in 2005 by Zhang Yi, Zhangmen is a leading brand for online one-on-one education in China’s primary and secondary schools segment. It focuses on providing high-quality and personalized education services for students aged 4 to 18. The company features an app called Zhangmen Yiduiyi, allowing students from kindergarten to high school to receive one-on-one tutoring on all school subjects from English to Math online.
Zhangmen’s app currently has over 40 million registered users from across 600 provinces, cities and counties in China. The company claims to have more than 1.2 million sets of independently developed teaching materials and 12 million professional question bank resources. Zhangmen has also developed a multi-terminal online class system for computers, tablets, mobile phones, and TVs, and widely uses big data and deep learning GPU clusters as the basis to continuously upgrade and optimize the 3.0 intelligent learning system.
The company first focused only on after-school training in classrooms. However, it shifted to offer online courses in 2014 when it raised an undisclosed amount of money from Qingsong Fund in an angel round, to meet the needs of more students and parents for personalized education, and to deliver high-quality educational resources to all parts of the country.
The latest funding comes at a time when online education has gained a boost from the COVID-19 pandemic in China as classrooms for schools and educational institutions were closed down for more than eight months so that students had to learn online at home.
According to Zhangmen’s website, the company has last raised $350 million from investors including CMC Capital and International Finance Corporation (IFC) in a Series E round in January 2019. Prior to that, the website further mentioned, the company has raised $120 million in Series D funding from Warburg Pincus and Yuansheng Capital in December 2017, and an undisclosed amount in Series C+ round from star investment institution StarVC in July 2017.
Zhangmen is among a slew of edtech companies that are competing for hundreds of millions of students in China. Other Chinese edtech majors that raised huge funding in recent times include Yuanfudao, Zuoyebang, and Leleketang.