Yuanfudao raises $120m led by Warburg, becomes China’s first unicorn in online tutoring

From Warburg Pincus homepage

Chinese tutoring service provider Yuanfudao said it had raised $120 million in a new funding round led by global private equity firm Warburg Pincus, marking the largest ever financing round in the country’s online tutoring industry.

Existing investor Tencent also joined the round. The deal will see Yuanfudao become China’s first online K-12 tutoring service provider to achieve the unicorn status, used to describe companies that have a valuation exceeding $1 billion.

“Education is a lasting theme in every Chinese family with significant investment, and Yuanfudao has established itself as a pioneer in China’s online education sector with a mature business model, leading scale and brand. Unlike the traditional tutoring model, which requires intensive offline resources, online learning is becoming a primary choice of Chinese families thanks to its easy access and high efficiency,” said Gordon Ding, Managing Director of Warburg Pincus.

Founded in 2012, Yuanfudao claims to be the largest online live course platform servicing primary and secondary school students in China. With a paying user base of over 1 million, Yuanfudao offers a curriculum spanning from primary school English, Mathematical Olympiad to all-subject courses in secondary school.

Yuanfudao has previously received financing from IDG Capital, Matrix Partners China, New Horizon Capital, CMC and Tencent.

The company said its three mobile apps – Yuanfudao, Yuantiku and Xiaoyuansouti – currently have over 160 million of student users. It added that its independent online professional test preparation platform, Fenbi, was a leader in China’s civil service test preparation market with the largest number of enrollments.

Since entering the Chinese market in 1994, Warburg Pincus has invested over $7 billion in nearly 100 companies in China, including leading technology and internet companies 58.com, RDA Microelectronics, Uxin, Liepin and Weidian. The firm’s over 30 portfolio companies in China include China Huarong, UCAR, Baosteel Gases, ZTO Express, Red Star Mecalline, Kidswant, Amcare, Evercare, China Jinmao, Mofang Apartment, Mobike, NIO and Souche.

Also Read: Warburg Pincus leads $100m Series D funding in China’s Yunniao

PE firm Warburg Pincus raises $2b for new China-focused fund

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.