TAL Education (NYSE:XRS), a K-12 after-school tutoring services provider formerly known as Xueersi, announced today it will inject 150 million yuan ($24.79 million) of strategic investment in childcare portal Babytree. Babytree has secured a combined $20 million of investments in previous rounds.
The acquisition of Babytree will help TAL to include pre-school children into its target customers. TAL has acquired education site Kaoyan.com for 50 million yuan last year.
Babytree, a leading Chinese digital resources and community for maternal and childcare services, is cofounded by former Google China exec Wang Huainan and former cofounder of EachNet Shao Yibo in 2007. The company provides all-round professional information on baby care and health. In addition to the baby and maternal site Babytree.com, Babytree operates pre-school education brand Mika, and seven mobile apps. Moreover, Babytree also launched cooperation with hardware companies to develop a smartwatch for pregnant women and a smart photo frame.
The company claims to have registered more than 20 million users that are distributed in 460 cities nationwide. Its monthly pageview reached more than 80 million, covering more than 80% of Chinese netizen parents, according to data released by the firm.
Online education became a hot topic in China since last year with a wave of education startups raised fundings. Alibaba, Tencent and YY all dipped their toes into the sector. Gong Haiyan, founder of dating site Jiayuan, decided to enter the education market starting with an online English-learning site, but shifting to a K-12 e-learning platform by launching Ladder. English-learning service 51Talk raised two rounds fundings in last year.
image credit: Babytree