Chinese online education platform Yuantiku has secured US$60 million of Series D funding at a valuation of US$360 million, just six months after announcing US$15 million in Series C last year. The new round was led by CMC Capital Partners and followed by New Horizon Capital, existing investors IDG and Matrix Partners China.
Yuantiku offers a database of practice questions for students preparing for exams. Powered by intelligent algorithms and big data, the service gives custom tests and analyses based on the student’s performance.
Founded by former NetEase executive Li Yong, the company behind Yuantiku pivoted from Fenbi, a social service for students and teachers built in 2012. The startup’s first K-12-focused offering, an exam database for National College Entrance Exam, became an instant hit after its launch in October 2013. The service claims 13 million users at the present, up from 1.5 million in June last year.
In addition to its exam database, the company also launched Xiaoyuan Search (our translation), an online learning app which allows users to search for questions by taking snapshots so as to avoid complexity and laborious input of hard-to-recognize characters, mathematical symbols and equations. The app has amassed 6 million users, the company added. A live video course product is expected to go live very soon.
The company has expanded to a variety of other tests, such as administrative aptitude tests and essay tests for civil servants, among others.
After this round of financing, Yuantiku will apply student data and their performance analysis into syllabus design and teaching process in a bid to further improve the efficiency of its study methods, said company CEO and founder and Li Yong.
Online education was one of the hottest topics in the Chinese tech industry during 2014, and this trend looks set to continue in 2015.
Image credit: Yuantiku
Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)