Hangzhou-based online language course company ABC360 announced the completion of a 100 million yuan ($153 million USD) series B financing on Tuesday, led by Guojin investment and followed by Tencent public space, the startup accelerator by Tencent as well as an education-focused fund from Zero2IPO Group.
“This financing will be used for product development, teacher training and the optimization of service processes,” ABC360 CEO Li Jing said in a statement.
Established in 2011, ABC360 matches students with English teachers who are mostly Philippines-based, with a 10-minute class fees upward of 7.6 yuan ($ 1.2 USD).
“Online learning is still concentrated in the first-tier cities. In the next few years, second and third-tier cities will stand out as our customer group,” said Mr. Li.
“2016 will probably be turning point for the online education. Now traditional education practitioners, who use to ignore online learning, understand the value and the need of online education.”
Currently, ABC360 has four overseas teaching centers, all located in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines and Thailand. To ensure teachers and teaching quality monitoring, the company says it will adopt the teaching process monitoring, evaluation and management of the student evaluation system.
English education in China has attracted a lot of funding over the past year. Shanghai-based online education platform TutorGroup raised C financing last November at a valuation of over $1 billion USD.