English-learning platform TutorGroup announced that it has raised a $100 million Series B round from investors including Chinese Internet giant Alibaba Group, Singaporean investment firm Temasek, and Qiming Venture Partners. TutorGroup says it plans to use the funding to grow its business in Asia and expand in the Americas.
Its massive Series B will help TutorGroup compete with online-learning platforms like Coursera as they prepare to enter China. Duolingo is also another potential competitor, though the free learning platform’s English course for Chinese speakers is still in incubation. This latest round of funding brings the total TutorGroup has raised so far to $115 million. Launched in 2004, TutorGroup’s international headquarters are in San Francisco and its main products are VIPABC and TutorABC, which are geared toward English-language students in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. TutorMing, on the other hand, is for people who want to learn Chinese. The company connects 2,000 teachers in 30 countries with language students through real-time class sessions. TutorGroup’s technology platform has allowed it to scale up by automatically recommending class size, learning pace, and course content.
TutorGroup says that it expects the adult English language-learning market within China to grow 25% annually and reach more than $21 billion by 2015. In China alone, the company expects sales to experience a triple-digit annual growth rate in the next few years.
In a statement, J.P. Gan, the managing partner of Qiming, said: “TutorGroup has experienced incredible growth since the last round of funding nearly two years ago. They are the online language learning leader across Asia, and their technology and platform are perfectly positioned to help them expand their lead and further scale, not just in Asia, but in the Americas as well. We look forward to our continued relationship with TutorGroup, as they become the world’s leading online education platform.”