Alibaba and SoftBank Vision Fund helped the online education services provider close a series E-plus round that hiked its overall funding to more than $2.9bn.
China-based online tutoring platform developer Zuoyebang closed a $1.6bn series E-plus round yesterday featuring e-commerce group Alibaba and telecommunications and internet group SoftBank’s Vision Fund 1.
Hedge fund manager Tiger Global Management, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China and private equity fund FountainVest Partners also participated in the round. It comes after Reuters reported in September this year the company was raising money at a $10bn valuation.
Zuoyebang runs an online education platform with 50 million daily active users and 170 million monthly active users, offering services such as live tutorials and homework assistance, the latter through an app with some 300 million answers to education questions. The funding will support the expansion of its categories and the growth of a business-focused offering.
FountainVest and Tiger Global co-led Zuoyebang’s last round, a $750m series E in June this year that included Vision Fund, Sequoia Capital China, Qatar Investment Authority, Tiantu Capital and Xiang He Capital, and which reportedly valued it at $6.5bn pre-money.
The company secured $350m in a mid-2018 series D round led by Coatue Management that also featured Goldman Sachs, Sequoia China, GGV Capital, Xiang He Capital, Tiantu Capital, Primavera Capital Group, New Enterprise Associates and Taihe Capital at a reported $3bn valuation.
Legend Capital, the venture capital firm formed by conglomerate Legend Holdings, had joined H Capital, Tiger Global, Sequoia China, GGV Capital and Xiang He Capital in Zuoyebang’s $150m series C round the previous year.
Zuoyebang had already received $60m from Legend Capital, GGV Capital and Sequoia Capital through a 2016 series B round that came in the wake of $25m in a series A round co-led by Legend Capital and Sequoia China the year before.
The latest round was disclosed in close proximity to a $300m investment by private equity firm Yunfeng Capital in Zuoyebang rival Yuanfudao and a $210m series D round for another online education services provider, Meishubao Education.