51Talk is an English-learning service which provides one-to-one course on oral English. It recently secured $12 million of Series B funding from Shunwei Venture Capital, a fund backed by Xiaomi’s CEO and co-founder Lei Jun. The company previously raised angel investment from ZhenFund in 2011 and several million dollars in Series A from DCM at the end of 2012.

Founded in 2011, 51Talk offers e-learning courses at more affordable prices (around 40 yuan per hour), around one fifth of the prices of its offline peers. The company currently has more than 1,000 foreign teachers, mainly from Philippine, and more than 200 operation staff.

The capital raised this time will be injected to product R&D, marketing and branding. Additionally, the company planned to develop homegrown communication tool to replace currently adopted ones like Skype and QQ.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.