Venture Capital: Chinese Edtech EEO Scores $265M Series C Round
EEO owns the online teaching platform ClassIn.
At last count in August, Empower Education Online (EEO)’s ClassIn had 60,000 schools and institutional clients from 35 countries and regions across the globe. It services about 20 million individuals from 150 countries each month. The edtech giant raised $265 million in a Series C round of financing led by Hillhouse Capital’s venture capital unit GL Ventures. (CaixinGlobal/CX Tech)
EEO is a Beijing-based SaaS provider of online education.
Other investors participating in the round included Tencent, Susquehanna International Group (SIG), INCE Capital, and Gaocheng Capital.
The latest financing comes within less than six months of its Series B Round held in July. Sole investor INCE Capital contributed “several tens of millions of dollars” in that round.
ClassIn is an innovative online teaching platform and software. It enables teachers and students from across the globe to come together, face-to-face, and learn in a collaborative online environment.
EEO was founded in 2014 and launched ClassIn in 2015.
The coronavirus pandemic has turned education on its head. It forced schools and colleges to switch to an online mode of delivery of their services virtually overnight.
Edtech startups have been a huge beneficiary of this trend. They raked in billions of dollars from venture capital and PE investors.
ClassIn made inroads into more institutions following the virus. These were Peking University and Tsinghua University, as well as public schools such as Beijing 101 Middle School and Shanghai Foreign Language School.
According to KrAsia, EEO launched a new version of ClassIn in July. Dubbed ClassIn X, the X represents two lines – “one line online, one line offline, and blending them together is one X, which means that ClassIn X is a product that integrates online and offline,” in the words of Song Junbo, the founder of EEO.
“SaaS (software-as-a-service) and education have been two sectors Tencent pays close attention to for long and EEO happens to be in the conjunction,” said Yao Leiwen, managing director of Tencent Investment in a WeChat post.
Investors making a beeline for cash-burning edtechs?
Earlier this month, Codemao, a Shenzhen-based tutoring platform focusing on teaching computer coding, raised 1.3 billion yuan ($198 million) in its series D funding round.
A fund affiliated with Baring Private Equity Asia led the round.
In September, BYJU’S, the Indian educational technology company operated by Think and Learn Private Limited, raised $500 million in fresh funding led by private equity giant Silver Lake and $122 million from DST Global.
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