Yuanfudao was founded in 2012 as a home tutoring app and it now counts Tencent as a major investor. It competes with rivals including Zuoyebang (number 14 in our ranking, and backed by Alibaba).

China’s edtech brands attracted unprecedented investment last year as millions of students switched over to online learning following school closures during the pandemic. However, the surge in business has stretched balance sheets and Yuanfudao was reported to be preparing another fundraising in March less than six months after a $2.2 billion round that valued the startup at $15.5 billion, the most among edtech companies globally.

Other media reports are that Yuanfudao is planning an IPO for 2022, although there were signs that the regulatory mood might be darkening when the education ministry warned the education platforms in April not to live-stream courses to minors after 9 pm.


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