BEIJING, March 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Sunny Education Inc. ("17ZUOYE" or the "Company"), the largest three-party K-12 intelligent education platform for teachers, students and parents in China, today announced that it has raised US$250 million in a new, Series E round of financing. Temasek led the latest investment round with the participation of new investors such as CITIC Private Equity Funds Management (CITICPE), as well as existing shareholders such as Shunwei Capital. China Renaissance Group acted as the exclusive financial advisor of the Company in the deal.
Liu Chang, founder and CEO of the Company, stated, "17ZUOYE has been transforming Chinese students' way of doing homework from offline to online since its inception. By February 2018, 17ZUOYE has served over 60 million users in approximately 120,000 schools by offering complimentary homework solutions to teachers, students and parents. It stimulates students' learning interest and improves learning efficiency and efficacy. Beyond homework, students can study by themselves using intelligent supplementary textbooks or participate in live stream tutoring courses."
"We had not raised any fund since our Series D round of financing in February 2015. During that period, we continued enriching our product offerings to cover more categories in all of the three subjects in primary school education and expanded our user base. More importantly, we achieved some initial success in monetization. Our two main monetization models, which are intelligent supplementary textbooks and live stream tutoring, have helped the Company break even at cash level in November 2017," continued Mr. Liu. "After we figured out how to achieve returns for our shareholders while continuing providing complimentary high-quality homework content to teachers and students, we believe it is the right time to accelerate the Company's growth using the power of capital. With the new funding, we will accelerate our expansion in the middle school and high school sectors, and further strengthen our leading position in the primary school sector."
17ZUOYE has been widely recognized as the largest intelligent education company in China's primary school market in terms of school coverage and user reach. The K-12 education industry, especially tutoring, is still fragmented with numerous vertical players. The opportunities for growth and expansion facing the Company are tremendous. Other than market expansion, the Company intends to invest in content and technology to further improve its user experience and learning efficacy. The Company will also look for complementary opportunities to build its business ecosystem.
Wang Qiang, chairman of the Company, commented, "I am excited about 17ZUOYE's' fast growth and its successful monetization exploration. Its intelligent supplementary textbooks provide tailor-made premium content to each student, which is generated based on the student's daily homework data using big data and artificial intelligence technology. I believe it will gradually replace the traditional paper-based supplementary textbooks. I also believe, as 17ZUOYE continues to improve its products through data and pedagogy, it has great potential to be the ultimate winner in this market."
Bryan Wu, the Managing Director at CITICPE, noted, "CITICPE has been closely following 17ZUOYE since 2014. The Company's development is far beyond our expectations. It has become a clear sector leader in the online education space, both in terms of school coverage and penetration, and in number of active teachers, students and parents. We are excited to join 17ZUOYE in its journey to greater success."
Liu Chang concluded, "We thank all of our shareholders for their long term trust and support and will work diligently to fulfill our mission - make learning beautiful."
About Sunny Education Inc.
Sunny Education Inc., operating under the brand name "17ZUOYE" (a.k.a. Homework Together), is the largest three-party K-12 intelligent education platform for teachers, students and parents in China. It covers more than 60 million users in approximately 120,000 schools, and offers all-subject homework solutions as well as class preparation and personalized learning solutions for the teachers, students and parents. 17ZUOYE was founded by Liu Chang and Xiao Dun in October 2011 and since then has attracted investments of over US$385 million from prestigious investors such as CITIC PE, DST Global, H Capital, Shunwei Capital, Temasek, and Tiger Global Management, as well as Mr. Wang Qiang and Mr. Xu Xiaoping, the two founders of ZhenFund. 17ZUOYE works with a range of global partners to realize the value of Easy Teaching for the teachers and Happy Learning for the students. 17ZUOYE's mission is to Make Learning Beautiful.
Incorporated in 1974, Temasek is an investment company headquartered in Singapore. Supported by 11 offices internationally, Temasek owns a S$275 billion (RMB1.35t) portfolio as at 31 March 2017, mainly in Singapore and the rest of Asia.
Our portfolio covers a broad spectrum of industries: financial services; telecommunications, media & technology; transportation & industrials; consumer & real estate; life sciences & agribusiness; as well as energy & resources. Our investment activities are guided by four investment themes and the long term trends they represent: Transforming Economies; Growing Middle Income Populations; Deepening Comparative Advantages; and Emerging Champions.
As an institution, we have a stake in the well-being of our larger community. We recognise that environmental, social and governance factors can impact our stakeholders as well as the long term sustainability of companies and businesses.
For more information on Temasek, please visit www.temasek.com.sg
About CITIC Private Equity Funds Management (CITICPE)
CITIC Private Equity Funds Management (CITICPE) is a leading asset management firm that manages multiple asset classes, including private equity, mezzanine and public market funds and other products, for a group of over 200 domestic and international investors. CITICPE understands China well and is a globally minded long term value investor. The firm's private equity portfolio of more than 100 companies is highly diversified by sector and stage of investment. CITICPE takes pride in its forward-looking investment philosophy and works hard to create value over the long term for its investors and a better world.
About Shunwei Capital
Shunwei Capital is a premier Chinese venture capital firm specializing in early to growth stage investments in founders and disruptive business models in mobile Internet, IoT, Fin-Tech, Ed-Tech, artificial intelligence and robotics. Shunwei's investment portfolio includes Xiaomi, Ninebot (Segway), YY, 51Talk, iQiyi, Misfit, Patsnap, DXY, and 17ZUOYE.
Shunwei Capital was founded in 2011 by Jun Lei (also the founder of Xiaomi) and Tuck Lye KOH. It currently manages over USD 2 billion in funds under management.
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