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VIPKid confirms new round of Tencent financing

By Cheng Yu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2019-10-08 13:06

An English teacher in the US interacts with a Chinese kid in Beijing during an e-class of the VIPKid, a Chinese online education platform. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Chinese online education startup VIPKid confirmed a new round of financing led by its previous investor, Tencent Holdings Ltd, on Monday, right after the country released a guideline to boost online education and the entry of private forces into the sector.

The past year has seen the tightening of policies on online education platforms in the country. Yet recently, the Ministry of Education and 10 other ministries made a rare guideline, which encourages startups and private capitals to join the segment to meet diversified education demands.

VIPKid noted that the fresh fundraising will be used for deepening cooperation in several sectors, including artificial intelligence, cloud services and charitable work.

Though the firm didn't disclose the detailed amount of investment, Reuters reported earlier that Tencent had planned to invest about $150 million in the new round.

Mi Wenjuan, founder and CEO of VIPKid, said that online education will be a megatrend in the near future and the startup hopes to build a world class that is "connected, inclusive and personalized".

"Technology for good has always been Tencent's wish and responsibility. We hope to enable the future of education with the help of technology to benefit more kids and parents," said Tang Daosheng, head of Tencent's cloud and wisdom businesses.

VIPKid, founded in 2013, is an online education platform providing children with one-on-one online English courses, and links teachers from North America with Chinese kids aged 4 to 12.

The latest data from the company showed it has enrolled more than 90,000 foreign teachers in its network, enabling them to work with 700,000 users across the world.

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