Chinese online education platform Yuanfudao (Ape Tutoring) has closed a new $1 billion round of financing led by Hillhouse Capital and followed by Tencent, Boyu Capital and IDG Capital, valuing it at $7.8 billion, according to 36Kr. Notably, the $1 billion round would be the largest amount in the history of the Chinese education sector. After the closing, Yuanfudao will also become the highest valued unlisted education company.
The information was confirmed by Li Yong, founder and CEO of Yuanfudao, in an all-personnel email sent out in the early hours of March 31. Li also revealed in the internal letter that the number of users of Yuanfudao’s online classes has exceeded 1 million, while Zebra AI Course’s paying users have exceeded 500,000.
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According to LatePost, the new round of financing will be used to ramp up Yuanfudao’s marketing and recruiting as the company hopes to expand market share in its online class lectures, while continuing pull away from competitors with its newer offerings, , including Zebra AI Class and Little Ape Oral Arithmetic.
A source familiar with the matter told 36Kr that the revenue of Yuanfudao in 2019 was between $3 billion and $4 billion, with more than 80% of customer renewals in the primary school sector. In addition, the source also said that Yuanfudao’s internal revenue target this year is more than 10 billion, which will make Yuanfudao the highest revenue earner in the online education industry if realized.