Startups Venture

One More Nine-Figure Round As 2018 Races To A Close

Morning Markets: China-based edtech takes down one more supergiant round before the year ends.

The markets are back alive today, and while American stocks put on a show, private companies aren’t in the mood to be overshadowed.

There’s a new supergiant round for us to cover, and that means we’re closing out the last days of 2018 with at least one more nine-figure investment. Who raised it? A China-based edtech company called Yuanfudao.

Series F

Yuanfudao, founded in 2012, is a Beijing-based service that provides streaming-powered tutoring. The Chinese education market is competitive, and therefore lucrative, leading to a boom in tech companies serving it in recent years. Business coverage of the trend has been extensive as we can see here, here, and here, for example.

Crunchbase News previously covered the Yuanfudao round back before it was confirmed. At that time, it was expected that the unicorn would raise $250 million at a $2.8 billion valuation. Those figures rose to $300 million at a $3 billion valuation, according to today’s media reports.

So, the company’s Series F was an even bigger event than anticipated. Yuanfudao, which has been called China’s first edtech unicorn, is now flush heading into today’s uncertain economic market.

The new capital raised in Yuanfudao’s Series F is more extensive than all the money it previously raised. The firm’s Series A, B, C, D, E, and a private equity round were worth just over $244 million in total. The company has now raised around $544 million, according to Crunchbase.

China

China’s venture market took center stage in 2018 as the country’s startup scene raised tectonic new rounds and its constituent companies grew like hell. There were some notable stumbles, and China’s startup set will contain the usual set of misses and overpriced mistakes. But wrapping the year with another $300 million investment, a round led by one of China’s leading tech companies, Tencent, is very appropriate.

This chart we published before, detailing the funding pace of various China-based edtech companies, is now out of date, but it should give you an idea of how quickly the set of companies is racing forward. I will be fascinated to see how long that pace of capital attraction can continue into the new year.

Top Image Credit: Li-Anne Dias.

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