Centurium leads $100m Series D round in corporate training platform Yunxuetang

Man with wristwatch writing a journal. Source: Alejandro Escamilla/Unsplash

Chinese corporate training service provider Yunxuetang has closed $100 million in a Series D round of financing led by private equity major Centurium Capital, taking the total capital raised by the firm to $200 million.

Existing shareholders including YF Capital, backed by Alibaba’s former executive chairman Jack Ma Yun, and Susquehanna International Group (SIG), also participated in the investment, according to a recent company statement. Chinese investment bank Index Capital was the exclusive financial advisor of the deal.

Yunxuetang, dual-headquartered in Beijing and eastern China’s coastal province of Jiangsu, leverages AI, cloud computing and big data to offer both free and paid online courses and software to customers based on a freemium model. The company also enables corporate clients to develop and operate online training software customized to their employees.

Established in 2011 and also known as YXT.com, Yunxuetang has so far served thousands of large-scale enterprises and nearly 30,000 small and medium-sized companies, including Hong Kong-listed hot pot restaurant chain Haidilao, Chinese ride-hailing service Didi Chuxing, Luckin Coffee, the Chinese Starbucks challenger, and electric vehicle maker NIO, according to the statement. The company has set up branches in over 20 cities in China.

YF Capital “values a growing trend of datafication, cloudification, and emphasis on the vertical application” in the corporate service field. The corporate training market is worth around 100 billion yuan ($14.58 billion), while the employee training segment is “one of the few verticals” in the field that represents “a rigid market demand,” said Xia Xiaoyan, managing director of YF Capital, in the statement.

Proceeds will be used to improve services and build “a content ecology” that will aggregate professional corporate training mentors and institutes to deliver personalized and intelligent learning content, shows the statement.

Yunxuetang raised $50 million in a Series C round led by YF Capital with participation from SIG in September 2018. The company received $22 million in a Series B round from SIG in April 2017. Beijing-based investment firm Everest Venture Capital, and Ximalaya, a Chinese service website for users to share audio and personal radio stations, also poured money into Yunxuetang.

Centurium Capital, a major investor of Luckin Coffee, was co-founded by the former head of Warburg Pincus Asia Pacific. The company raised over $2 billion in its debut USD-denominated fund in July 2019.

Limited partners of the maiden fund include Singapore’s GIC Pte Ltd and Temasek Holdings, Canada’s Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, China Investment Corp (CIC) and U.S. pension fund Washington State Investment Board, according to a Reuters report citing two people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Launched in March 2018, the debut fund reached the first close of nearly $1 billion three months later and beat the $1.5 billion and $1.98 billion fundraising targets since then.

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.

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.