This week two prominent Chinese online education players received considerable capital injections, with coding tutoring platform Codemao bagging $198 million and ClassIn owner EEO Education raising as much as $265 million. Tencent-backed healthcare crowdfunding platform Waterdrop raked in an additional $150 million from its biggest investor. But the biggest winner of the week was Manbang – China’s “Uber for trucks” – which amassed over $1.7 billion for further expansion and a possible IPO.
Coding education platform Codemao raises $198 million in Series D round of financing
Shenzhen-based coding tutoring platform Codemao raised 1.3 billion yuan ($198 million) in its Series D round of financing led by a fund affiliated to Baring Private Equity Asia. Other investors involved the round included Citic Securities, Hillhouse Capital, BOC International, Gold Stone Investment and Sino-Ocean Capital. The announcement was made by Codemao in a WeChat post on Friday.
The company had last raised funds in April, bagging 250 million yuan from a group of investors led by CMB International and pushing the company’s valuation to 3.5 billion yuan.
In January last year, Codemao’s chief financial officer Zhang Wei announced plans to go public on either Shanghai’s STAR Market, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange or Nasdaq within two years.
The company reported that so far it has been able to generate an average monthly revenue of more than 200 million yuan. Approximately half of its customers come from third- and fourth-tier Chinese cities.
Founded in 2015, Codemao initially focused on developing programming tools for children aged between 4 and 16. The company has since expanded its business to computer programming training in partnership with schools and universities while also providing online one-on-one courses.
China’s “Uber for trucks” collects $1.7 billion in a massive funding round
Chinese truck-for-hire startup Manbang, often referred to as China’s “Uber for trucks”, announced Tuesday it raised $1.7 billion in its latest funding round. The news comes two years after the company raked in $1.9 billion from investors including SoftBank Group and Alphabet Inc.’s venture capital fund CapitalG.
The round attracted high-profile backers, including returning investors SoftBank Vision Fund and Sequoia Capital China, Permira and Fidelity, a consortium that co-led the round. Other participants were Hillhouse Capital, GGV Capital, Lightspeed China Partners, Tencent, Jack Ma’s YF Capital and more.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Manbang was seeking an investment of roughly $1 billion ahead of an initial public offering next year. The company declined to comment on the matter, though its CEO Zhang Hui said in May 2019 that the firm was “not in a rush” to go public.
Manbang announced it has achieved profitability this year, while its valuation was estimated to be around $10 billion in 2018.
Formed in 2017 from a merger between rivals Yunmanman and Huochebang, the company runs an app matching truck drivers and merchants transporting cargo and provides financial services to truckers.
Tencent injects $150 million in Waterdrop
The company is expected to use the funds to expand its online platform and bolster its technology.
Both Waterdrop and Tencent declined to comment on the topic.
The funding round comes after the startup raised $230 million in a Series D round jointly led by insurance giant Swiss Re and Tencent. In July, Waterdrop also announced plans to go public, targeting a valuation of about $4 billion.
Founded by Shen Peng, a former Meituan employee, in 2016, Waterdrop provides insurance services as well as medical funding assistance for low- and middle-income patients. Over the past four years, the company has been rapidly expanding in China’s third, fourth and fifth-tier cities.
Edtech powerhouse EEO Education bags $265 million
Beijing-based edtech firm EEO Education, which operates teaching platform ClassIn, closed a $265 million Series C round of financing led by GL Ventures, Hillhouse Capital’s early-stage VC arm, the company announced on its official WeChat account on Friday. Other investors include Tencent, Susquehanna International Group (SIG), Gaocheng Capital, and INCE Capital.
The latest capital injection comes less than six months after the company’s Series B round in July, in which EEO Education collected “several tens of millions of dollars” from sole investor INCE Capital.
“SaaS (software-as-a-service) and education have been two sectors Tencent has paid close attention to for a long time and EEO happens to be at the conjunction of the two,” said Tencent Investment’s managing director Yao Leiwen in a WeChat post, adding that products like ClassIn will very likely become a necessity in the educational sector.
About EEO Education
Founded in 2014, EEO launched ClassIn, its first online classroom software, in 2015. As the COVID-19 pandemic forced classes to move online, the company has made its way into institutions such as Peking University and Tsinghua University, as well as public schools including Beijing 101 Middle School and the Shanghai Foreign Language School.