Shunwei Capital-backed China’s 17 Education eyes $100m US IPO

Times Square is seen through the window of the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York, U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

17 Education & Technology Group, a provider of K-12 education services in China, has listed the size of its proposed initial public offering (IPO) in the US at $100 million, a placeholder amount likely to change, according to a filing.

The Shunwei Capital-backed company’s prospectus is highly redacted. It plans to list its American depositary shares (ADSs) on the Nasdaq under the symbol YQ, joining a string of other Chinese education firms fundraising in the US amidst the ongoing US-China tensions.

Based in Beijing, 17 Education provides data-driven teaching, learning, and assessment smart in-school classroom solutions to teachers, students, and parents across China’s more than 70,000 K-12 schools, or about 30 per cent of all K-12 schools in mainland China.

It also offers after-school tutoring courses in a large-class, dual-teacher format, covering major subject matters of China’s K-12 education.

“We believe that through technology, we can bring together K-12 in-school education and after-school supplementary education to create a more efficient, effective, and engaging personalised education experience for teachers, students, and parents,” the company said in its prospectus.

China has the largest K-12 education system in the world. As of December 31, 2019, the country’s K-12 system had 178 million students, including approximately 105.6 million primary school students, 48.3 million middle school students, and 24.1 million high school students across over 226,000 schools.

17 Education expects the total number of K-12 schools using smart in-school classroom solutions will increase to 148,670 in 2024, including 111,949 primary schools.

The company intends to use the proceeds of its listing to improve the operation of its after-school tutoring services, enhance its product offerings, further invest in technology infrastructure, and finance its sales and marketing activities.

Founded in 2012, 17 Education is backed by Chinese venture capital firm Shunwei Capital, Temasek affiliate Esta Investments, Fluency Holding, H Capital Entities, CL Lion Investments, and Walden Investments Group, among others.

The company booked $151 million in revenue for the 12 months ended September 30, 2020.

17 Education joins a list of other Chinese education firms that are looking to list in the US. Among them is childhood edutainment firm iHuman, which filed in September to raise up to $100 million. Youdao Inc, an e-learning unit of Chinese internet technology company NetEase Inc, also filed for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in October.

Other Chinese education firms that have listed in the US include GSX Techedu Inc, which raised $208 million last year.

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.