Alibaba invests in O2O beauty services provider Helijia
In its latest move Alibaba Group poured funds into Helijia, an O2O beauty services platform, becoming the company’s largest shareholder.
The Beijing-based Helijia previously raised $49.5 million in its series C round of financing led by Qiming Venture Partners in 2015. Alibaba Group did not disclose any investment figures related to the latest round. However, it is speculated that the company invested several hundred million yuan.
Beauty has been one of fastest-growing categories across Alibaba’s e-commerce channels in the past two years. Thus, the potential cooperation between Helijia and Tmall Beauty would be in line with Alibaba’s business interests.
Helijia was established in 2014 by serial entrepreneur Meng Xing whose previous ventures include catering brands Diaoye Beef Brisket and Xuepan Skewers, essential oil brand Afu Essential Oil, and more.
Online education startup kaikeba.com bags $80 million in Series A round
Chinese Coursera-like online education startup kaikeba.com has raised roughly $80 million in its Series A round of financing, mere months after being spun off from its parent company, Huike Group.
The round was led by Gaorong Capital and GL Ventures, the VC unit of Asia-focused private equity powerhouse Hillhouse Capital.
Kaikeba currently has strategic partnerships with Microsoft, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei and Didi Chuxing.
The company will use the proceeds of the round to increase investments in technological development, especially in the enhancement of its AI capabilities. The company also plans to improve its content, expand the teaching team, while also enhancing its marketing and brand development.
Launched in August 2013 by Huike Group, kaikeba.com provides over four million paying students with systematic IT, Internet and digitalization-related online courses covering programming, front-end website development, data analysis, AI and Internet of Things (IoT).
Science education platform Huohua Siwei raises a $150 million Series E1
Chinese online K12 mathematics and science education platform Huohua Siwei has bagged $150 million in a Series E1 round of financing led by New York-based private equity firm KKR & Co.
Existing investors including GGV Capital, VC GSR Ventures, Longfor Capital, Sequoia Capital China, and Beijing-based investment firm IDG Capital also participated in the round.
Huohua has raised a total $340 million to date, across six rounds of funding, according to a statement on Wednesday.
The company recorded a nearly 67% growth in paying users in the past four months to about 250,000 from 150,000 in late April 2020, according to Caixin. The massive rise in demand for online education induced by the coronavirus pandemic is believed to be the main engine of the company’s recent growth.
Huohua was founded in 2017 as an online education platform offering AI-enabled mathematics and critical thinking, as well as Chinese-language learning classes to students aged between 3 and 12.