Chinese edtech startup Zuoyebang closes $750m round led by Tiger Global, FountainVest

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Chinese online tutoring platform Zuoyebang has raised $750 million in a Series E round of financing jointly led by international investment firm Tiger Global Management and Chinese private equity firm FountainVest Partners.

The round was joined by new investor Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and return backers SoftBank Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital China, Tiantu Capital and Xiang He Capital, according to an announcement on Monday.

Zuoyebang, which was founded by Chinese search engine giant Baidu in 2014 before being spun off in 2015, is a K-12 online education platform that allows students to upload their homework questions and search for answers on its platform. It also offers classes through live streaming.

Chinese global investment bank Taihecap served as the exclusive financial advisor for the Series E round.

In its statement on Monday, Zuoyebang disclosed it had previously raised $500 million in a Series D+ round from SoftBank Vision Fund in November 2018. It had earlier bagged $350 million in a Series D round in July 2018 from investors including Goldman Sachs, Coatue Management, GGV Capital, Taihecap, Sequoia China, Primavera Capital, Xiang He Capital, Tiantu Capital and New Enterprise Associates.

The company’s other investors include Legend Capital and H Capital. 

According to Chinese market research and consulting company iResearch, the size of Chinese online education market in 2019 reached 323 billion yuan ($46 billion) and is expected to touch 575 billion yuan ($81 billion) in 2022. 

Zuoyebang’s rival Yuanfudao, which offers online courses and homework plans, had in March announced raising $1 billion in a funding round led by Tencent Holdings and private equity firm Hillhouse Capital.  The round, which was joined by Boyu Capital and IDG Capital, raised the Warburg Pincus-backed company’s valuation to $7.8 billion.

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. 
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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.