Chinese online learning platform operator Zuoyebang has managed to raise more than $750 million in its latest funding round. The company announced on Monday on its official WeChat page that it raised the amount during its latest Series E funding round.
Major investors in the Beijing-based mobile study platform operator included New York-based Tiger Global and Chinese private equity company FountainVest Partners. Zuoyebang's last funding round occurred in 2018 with the company managed to raise $350 million. Before that, the company raised $150 million through a Series C round in 2017.
The amount raised by the company in its latest funding round is by far the largest among the 131 other major players in China's rapidly growing online education sector this year. Cumulatively, the sector has raised more than $1.11 billion so far from investors worldwide.
The latest investment underscores the growing interest in China's digital education sector, which has boomed in recent months, particularly after the coronavirus pandemic had forced educators to find other means of interacting with their students.
With the enforced lockdowns and social distancing measures, online education has become a multi-billion business in China and a necessity for its more than 260 million Chinese students. The country currently boasts the largest education system in the world, with over 15 million teachers and more than 500,000 schools, according to the country's National Bureau of Statistics.
Zuoyebang, which roughly translates to "homework help," is one of the country's major online learning platform providers, catering mostly to primary and secondary school students. According to the company, its learning platform currently boasts more than 170 million monthly active users, with over 12 million paying students. The company stated that over the past two years, it has seen a 400 percent growth in the number of students enrolling in live-streaming courses.
Investors were quick to catch on the trend, with more institutions now placing bets on the rapid adoption of the technology in the coming years. Other investors that joined Zuoyebang's latest funding round included sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, Chinese investment firm Tiantu Capital, Xiang He Capital, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital China, and Softbank's Vision Fund1.
Apart from funding rounds, other players in the sector have managed to raise capital in foreign stock markets. Zuoyebang's rivals New Oriental Education & Technology and TAL Education Group have already listed their shares in the US, with both companies considering launching a secondary listing in Hong Kong. Zuoyebang had mentioned that it currently has no plans to launch an IPO at this time.