Chinese edtech firm Huohua Siwei bags $100m Series E2 led by Tencent

Beijing-headquartered online K12 mathematics and science education platform Huohua Siwei has announced the completion of a $100 million Series E2 round led by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings’ investment arm Tencent Investment, the latter announced on WeChat on Monday.

This brings the amount raised by Huohua in seven rounds of fundraisings to $440 million, including $250 million in two tranches of Series E, Luo Jian, CEO, Huohua, said in an internal employee letter.

US global investment firm The Carlyle Group’s sub-fund and Tencent-backed Chinese online education player Yuanfudao also participated in the Series E2 round.

The latest round comes after it garnered $150 million in a Series E1 round of financing led by New York-based private equity powerhouse KKR & Co, with participation from GGV Capital, GSR Ventures, Longfor Capital, Sequoia Capital China, and IDG Capital, in August this year.

Huohua, which was co-founded by Luo Jian in 2017, curates AI-driven online and interactive mathematics and science courses mainly for students aged between three and 12 years. The platform is ramping up efforts to develop multi-disciplinary courses including Chinese language and literature, and English learning.

The platform, in April this year, secured “tens of millions of US dollars” in a Series D+ round led by Chinese leading video-sharing app Kuaishou in efforts to facilitate AI and live-streaming capabilities.

It enrolled 250,000 students, with 85,000 regular users on a daily basis, said Luo in the statement. He had claimed in August that Huohua retained a subscription renewal rate of 80 per cent and generated about 200 million yuan ($29 million) in monthly revenues.

“The increasing efforts in AI-enabled, multi-disciplinary courses can provide more advanced education services to students,” said Haiyang Yu, managing director, Tencent Investment, in the statement.

Huohua’s early-stage investors include Northern Light Venture Capital, Lightspeed China Partners, and Hike Capital.

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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.