Chinese EdTech Companies You Should Know
After years of trial-and-error and the catalysis of Covid-19, the top runners of online education startups in China kept striding in both the real and the capital market. In 2020, over 10 billion US dollars poured into the primary market of the education industry.
Yuanfudao's K12 ecosystem has three key product lines — K12 online course (猿辅导), supporting learning tools (猿题库 & 小猿搜题), and Zebra AI (斑马AI). The number of students studying on Yuanfudao reached 3.7 million in 2020, and its revenue has a 200% year-over-year increase.
Yuanfudao raised 3.5 billion USD in 2020 and currently has a valuation of over 15.5 billion USD, making it the highest-valued private edtech startup across the world.
Zuoyebang, incubated from Baidu and independent in 2015, successfully used its homework-assistant app to acquire the highest number of K12 users in the market. The MAU is reportedly over 170 million, while the registered users are over 800 million. Some of the homework app traffic is converted to Zuoyebang's online courses, making the CAC far lower than the average. In the fall of 2020, the number of students attending regular classes exceeded 2.2 million, an over 400% rise from the previous year.
Zuoyebang raised 2.35 billion USD in total and joined the advertising competition with other players.
Zhangmen Education (掌门教育)
Zhangmen Education focuses on providing online 1-on-1 tutoring services for K12 students. The company also released online small-class products for students aged 3 to 8 on thinking and literacy. Zhangmen claimed to have 40 million registered users across the nation.
Zhangmen raised over 400 million USD in September 2020. Reportedly, the company has been planning its IPO in 2021 at the US stock market.
All-round Competency Education
Spark Education (火花思维)
Spark Education was founded in 2016. Famous for its online small-class in mathematical thinking, Spark Education extended online Chinese and English courses in 2020. The number of students exceeded 300,000, and the referral rate was reported to have reached 85%.
Spark Education completed three rounds of funding in 2020 and raised 280 million USD in total. The company is planning to go public in the US stock market in 2021.
VIP Think (豌豆思维)
Spark Education's close competitor, VIP Think, also focuses on mathematical thinking courses. Founded in 2018, the company experienced exponential growth in 2020, in which the average monthly revenue growth rate is more than 100%.
In 2020, VIP Think merged with Magic Ear, an online children's English learning brand, to increase its product lines. With over 250,000 students, its renewal and referral rate is over 85%, and the monthly revenue has exceeded 220 million RMB.
VIP Think raised 180 million RMB in the C round in 2020.
Founded in 2015, Codemao focuses on 4 to 16-year-old children's programming ability. In 2020, schools and consumers contributed a monthly revenue of over 200 million RMB to the company. According to the disclosed data, Codemao has provided 17,000 public schools with programming courses, covering more than 200 cities in China. Among them, its users in third and fourth-tier cities account for nearly 50%.
Codemao raised 1.3 billion RMB in the D round in 2020.
As the online education superstar, VIPKID connects North American teachers and Chinese kids through online one-on-one tutoring. It is still the leading brand for online young children's English learning, and the number of students has exceeded 700,000, reportedly.
To catch up with the K12 giants, VIPKID released the online big-class product "Rice Online School," providing English and Math classes to primary school students in the low-tier cities. 80% of the students are transferred from VIPKID.
Rice Online School independently raised an 80 million USD A round from Tencent in January 2020.
Palfish is an application for students to learn English online through video or audio interactions. It has created a product matrix based on picture books, foreign teachers 1-on-1 tutoring, AI class, and small-class.
Palfish attracted investors' attention as it prolonged the LTV of language learners and focused on the low-tier cities to lower the CAC.
Palfish completed a 120 million USD C2 round funding in 2020 and will keep on expanding subjects.
EEO is an online teaching SaaS provider in the education industry. Its online classroom product, Classin, is an interactive classroom that replicates most classroom scenarios online. A beneficiary of Covid-19, Classin experienced a surge of customers — its DAU raised 10 times in February 2020 compared to that in 2019. Classin serves more than 30,000 education institutions of all sizes in China, with 20 million monthly active users. In September 2020, EEO launched Classin X, an integrated online and offline teaching solutions.
In November 2020, EEO completed a 265 million USD C-round funding, following its 8-digit B-round disclosed in July.
Aixuexi (爱学习，literally translated as "Love Learning"), formerly known as Gaosi Education, was founded in 2009 and started the S2B2C model in 2015. Its OMO product covers teaching and learning scenarios before, during, and after class, which helps alleviate the problems of insufficient supply of teachers and contents faced by education institutions in the small-town and rural market. At present, it has more than 20,000 partners and continues to make efforts in the 2B market.
In 2020, Aixuexi raised nearly 200 million USD in the D2 round.