China: Edtech firm VIPKID raises $100m from Yunfeng, Sequoia

Chinese online education firm VIPKID has raised $100 million in series C funding round from investors that include Yunfeng Capital, the firm co-founded by Alibaba CEO and founder Jack Ma.

Others participating were existing investor Sequoia, and a Silicon Valley VC that is not yet being disclosed, TechCrunch reported.

VIPKID is a platform connecting children aged from five to 12 years with native English speakers from the US or Canada for one-to-one online language lessons.

It has about 500,000 registered students in China and about 3,000 teachers based in the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Germany, Italy, Spain, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and East and Southeast Asia.

“The rapid spread of broadband in China has made it possible to bring one-to-one English and broader curriculum learning directly to families throughout the country at an affordable price level,” said Cindy Mi, founder and CEO of VIPKID, in a statement.

VIPKID said the fresh funds will be used to grow business, as it plans to acquire more users in the 5 – 12 year-old age group in China and finding more instructors. Each month, VIPKID adds around 1,000 instructors, who are typically teachers and professionals who are trying to earn extra money.

The platform was founded in 2013 by Mi Wenjuan with early backing by angel investment firm Innovation Works, led by former Google China president and prominent Chinese microblogger Kai-Fu Lee.

Following its angel round, in October 2014, VIPKID was awarded $5 million in series-A investment led by Matrix Partners China, and in October 2015, it was awarded series-B funding of $20 million in a round led by Northern Light Ventures. 

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