(Yicai Global) Oct. 8 -- Chinese internet giant Tencent Holdings has invested in English language educator VIPKid's latest round of funding as the pair look to deepen collaboration in the online education, artificial intelligence and cloud services sectors.
VIPKid will use the new cash to increase investment in quality content, talent and technology, optimize operations and offer better education products and services to both students and parents, China Online cited the Beijing-based firm as saying today. It did not disclose financial details about the funding round.
The Wall Street Journal last month cited people familiar with the matter as saying Tencent would inject USD150 million into VIPKid despite earlier woes about China's tougher stance on internet education. Current and prospective investors also have concerns about the startup's business model, the sources added, saying Tencent rival Alibaba passed on the round, in which VIPKid hoped to raise USD500 million to give it a post-funding valuation of USD4.5 billion.
The series marks Tencent's third investment in the children's educator after it joined a USD200 million D series August 2017 and another USD500 million funding round in June 2018, when VIPKid was valued at around CNY20 billion (USD2.8 billion).
Founded in 2013, VIPKid provides a video platform for English language teachers to offer one-on-one real-time tuition. It had over 90,000 teachers educating 700,000 students as of August, according to its latest published data.
Editor: James Boynton