K-12 Dealmaking: China’s MagicEars Raises $6 Million

Contributing Writer

In this week’s dealmaking news, MagicEars, a Beijing-based company that provides online English classes for children, raised $6 million. MagicEars wasn’t the only English language tutoring company out of China to raise funds this month: last week, VIPKID, another Chinese provider of English-language services, announced that it has raised $200 million in a Series D funding round led by Sequoia Capital, and joined by strategic investor Tencent, as well as existing stakeholders Yunfeng Capital, Matrix Partners China, and the Zhen Fund.

MagicEars Raises $6 Million: MagicEars, a provider of online English group classes for children, raised $6 million in funding from ZhenEdu Fund and Beijing-based online tutoring company Yuanfudao. The company will invest the funds in teaching, researching, and upgrading the product, according to a press release from the company.

“The demand of online English learning for children has been very clear, and the market size is scaling up,” said Jiang Min, vice president of ZhenEdu Fund. “From the past development of offline after-school tutoring services companies such as TAL Education Group, small group classes are one of the most effective for young learners. Therefore, MagicEars’ small group class model has a strong competitive advantage.”

In June, Yuanfudao raised $120 million in a round led by private equity firm Warburg Pincus, with participation from Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest social network and a previous backer of Yuanfudao. As a result, the company became a “unicorn,” or startup with a valuation of more than $1 billion, according to reports at the time.

Sumdog Raises $1.8 Million: Sumdog, an Edinburgh-based ed-tech firm, has raised $1.8 million in funding from Nesta Impact Investments and the Scottish Investment Bank, according to press reports.

The company said it plans to use the funds for and recruitment efforts and international growth to bolster its U.S. presence with senior appointments to its New York office, according to reports.

Sumdog offers an online platform designed to help students practice mathematics, reading and writing.

StrongMind Partners With Assessment Technology: StrongMind, a digital curriculum and technology solution provider for secondary schools, is partnering with Assessment Technology Incorporated (ATI) to deliver ATI’s online assessments as part of the StrongMind digital curriculum solution, StrongMind said in a statement.

Starting during the 2017-18 school year, StrongMind courses will include Galileo Online end-of-course and diagnostic assessments to provide StrongMind Certified Schools with diagnostic, growth, and proficiency data.

Be sure to check back on Marketplace K-12 for updates on mergers, acquisitions, fundraising, and other dealmaking.


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