Venture Capital

GL Ventures leads $265m Series C round in Chinese SaaS edtech firm EEO


Empower Education Online (EEO), a Chinese Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider in the edtech field, has secured $265 million in a Series C round of financing led by Hillhouse Capital’s venture capital unit GL Ventures, the lead investor announced on November 28.

Other investors included Chinese social media and gaming giant Tencent; global investment firm SIG; INCE Capital, an investment firm co-founded by JP Gan, ex-partner at Qiming Venture Partners; and Gaocheng Capital, which focuses on growth-stage PE deals in technological innovation and enterprise service.

Founded in September 2014, EEO provides the so-called online-merge-offline (OMO) interactive classroom product ClassIn, which enables functions like online homework management, interactive and shared e-blackboards, and online responders.

The Beijing-based firm partners with 60,000 schools and educational institutions globally. In China, the firm claims to have cooperation with about 70 per cent of the country’s educational institutions that generate an annual revenue of at least 100 million yuan ($15.2 million), including Beijing-based TAL Education Group and private education group New Oriental.

New Oriental had led EEO’s 100-million-yuan Series A+ round in March 2017. TAL Education Group and e-testing & assessment service ATA had participated in the round.

EEO currently serves 20 million monthly active users (MAUs) from 150 countries and regions.

“Today, interpersonal communication has developed to rely on coffee houses plus WeChat, like the future of education, which will also quickly shift towards an era of online plus offline classroom,” said Song Junbo, founder and CEO of EEO, in a statement.

“As EEO helps schools and institutions build their online capabilities, the company will continue to promote the digitisation of offline teaching scene.”

EEO had raised tens of millions of US dollars in a Series B round from INCE Capital in July.


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