Subscribe

News
Jun 11, 2020 · Lieyunwang
News EO
Apr 17, 2020
report
News EO
Apr 17, 2020

Online Children’s Coding Platform Codemao Raises CNY 250 Million

Codemao (编程猫), the coding tutoring platform designed for children, today raised a C+ funding round of CNY 250 million, making a total fundraising amount of CNY 1.25 billion. The investment is led by CMB International, with participation from Bank of China Group Investment, Yueke Xintai Capital(粤科鑫泰资本), Sharewin Capital (盛宇投资) and other current shareholders. The Shenzhen-based startup owns a sophisticated product development system, providing a service integrating online tools, curricular content and tutoring. This fundraising was completed within less than six months from its last Series C round of CNY 400 million, a deal disclosed on November 4, 2019.  This online coding platform aiming for the children’s market first came into public view with a valuation of CNY 2 billion in January 2019, after an estimated total bankrolling of CNY 460 million in the previous four fundraisings. At that time, Codemao had already served 2 million customers, inbound and outbound, in cooperation with over 3,000 schools and education institutions. Earlier in the mid-May of 2019, the CEO and founder Li Tianchi (李天驰) was interviewed by EqualOcean during the ‘GIS2019 China Education Industry Innovation Summit.’ The valuation of his company almost tripled to about USD 1 billion at that time, a rapid development driven by steady quarter-on-quarter 200% growth rate with an annual income of CNY 120 million, as detailed by Mr. Li. This five-year-old online learning hub has evolved into a solid coding resource for over 31.47 million kids from 21 countries and regions. It has successfully won the favor and trust of young learners and parents through its Apple/Google-generic research team, sophisticated curricular system and eye-catching cooperation with tier-one Chinese universities. More importantly, the official endorsement backed by the Ministry of Education paves the way to the unicorn in China’s tremendous K12 education market. The ‘Industry-University’ Cooperation project launched last year aims to escalate the advanced education quality through strengthening the cooperation between the academic field and practical business. Codemao’s being listed is also a milestone that marks part of the journey to serve more adult students in colleges beyond the K12 market. At the end of 2019, just a few days before the breakout of COVID-19, the CEO of Codemao announced the opening of a school to provide professional training for offline partners with programming teaching and potential business scenarios. This plan could have been a promising start for the 2019-2022 ‘One Hundred Cities, One Thousand Stores’ project, a warm-up for the in-discussion IPO initiative. However, the unexpected pandemic disturbed the offline process and pushed the team to seek a new way out.  Online education has been the object of intense focus during the last few months, partly due to the mandatory social distancing. Mature coding education, a natural  product  of the spread of the Internet, is exciting investors once again, with a buzz reminiscent of the 2015 investment craze of billions US dollars. The year 2018 witnessed a total investment of CNY 6.33 billion (USD 931 million) in K12 education, growing at a CAGR 50.12% from 2016. Following the Ministry of Education policy on promoting STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) in 2015, the startup players and educational giants have been accelerating their product development and market deployment. AllDream (奥蒙编程), CodePKU (编学编玩) and Codemao, together with creative education represented by RoboRobo (乐博乐博机器人), have been trying to take a position in some educational niche segments that contain less threat from giants such as TAL Edu (TAL:NYSE) and New Oriental (EDU:NYSE).

News
Mar 31, 2020 · sina education
News
Mar 24, 2020 · sina technology
Analysis
Mar 11, 2020 · sina finance
News
Feb 25, 2020 · sina technology
Analysis EO
Feb 11, 2020
report
Analysis EO
Feb 11, 2020

Overview of the Chinese Children’s Programming Education Industry in 2019

Statistics from the Ministry of Education show that, in 2018, 18.63 million children were enrolled in preschool education in China. The pre-, primary, and middle-school students are the core users of the current programming education curriculum in the digitally ambitious Asian nation. Children's programming education is generally aimed at children in elementary schools and below. Typically learning programming literacy involves studying how to convert an original complex English code language into a graphical language, and is presented through games, animations and building block components in an instructional and modular manner. It aims to cultivate children's multiple abilities such as observation, imagination, creativity, logical thinking, problem-solving, judgmental thinking, sequence and conditions, and debugging operation ability. What made the track flourish? The support for introducing children's programming in China was tepid in the early days, but large waves of capital inflow in 2017 gave birth to many programming education companies. Refined programming courses give users more choices. These include a series of early ‘programming guidance’ courses such as programming games and visual graphics. There are countless mainstream programming courses on the market that can meet such requirements. Parents who do not generally understand the content of children's programming courses cannot differentiate between children's programming and children's coding. This also reflects a certain extent that the current market for children's programming is still in a state of development.  Currently, Lego, Scratch, Python, and C++ are generally referred to as children's programming courses on the market. Most of the children's programming education firms choose Scratch as the main programming teaching tool, and institutions with less exam-oriented systems choose C++ courses.  Lego education is an innovative approach, focused on cultivating an early interest in logical problem-solving. Children can start with normal Lego building blocks and gradually move on to Lego robot programming.  Scratch focuses on the development of children’s programming thinking. It is also the most widely used children's programming software package on the market. It uses a graphical programming module to visualize the programming language, making it easier for children to understand the basic meaning of programming.  As a transition language between Scratch and C ++, Python is relatively suitable for middle school children, and it is often used as an advanced language for children who have already learned Scratch. Policy support has become the primary productive force of the industry. Education has always been deeply influenced by policy adjustments. Provinces with policies supporting programming or IT have developed significantly faster than other regions. Hence policy is one of the main reasons that children's programming is being taken seriously in today's education industry. Today's artificial intelligence development has an increasing demand for digital talents, and the current teaching model finds it difficult to meet the requirements of the times in the development of high-tech industries and talent training. New technologies and new talents are out of touch with the current society as soon as they leave college. With the current technological trends and adjustment of industrial institutions, it is imperative to cultivate new IT talents. The upgrading of the consumer environment. As people born in the 1980s and 1990s enter the stage of getting married and having children, these two generations have become an important driving force for changing consumer habits around child-rearing. The new generation of mothers pays more attention to children's education and training due to their strong consumption habits and higher education level. Spending on children is also rising, with increased incomes allowing these parents to afford expensive, high-quality products. In addition, the new generation of parents have become more international, and are more likely to accept new things, which is also good for the development of children's programming. Capital injection. According to Data collected by EDU INSIGHT at the end of 2019, 70 children's programming firms completed various degrees of investment and financing or listing. Among them, there were a number of children's programming startups such as Walnut education (核桃编程), Jikestar (极客晨星), Codemao (编程猫), etc., which showed the potential future of the track. More challenges, fewer opportunities? The ministry of education and eight other departments recently issued a notice which requires guardians to control the use of electronic products by children. It stated that electronic products for non-learning purposes should not be used more than 15 minutes at a time and not more than an hour in a day. The usage of electronic products for learning purposes should be 30 to 40 minutes per day.  Giving high importance to children’s eyesight protection and incorporating it into policies will have a strong impact on the development of children’s programming education.  With more startups in the market, it is harder to raise investment. According to EDU INSIGHT’s data, among the 210 children's programming companies, 139 have not disclosed any financing records. From the 70 companies that have, few have been able to raise Series B and C. The industry has seen significant firms close down. Companies (especially companies without any disclosure of financing records) cannot polish their business models without stable cash flow and it is very difficult for them to raise money. There are still gaps in the curriculum system and teachers. From the perspective of current programming teaching, the curriculum system promoted by most children's programming companies mainly refers to one of the standards of American children's programming curriculum system.  Compared with other education tracks, the domestic market for children’s programming is still in the early stage; the number and size of players of the industry are small and many companies are still trying different business models. Course and curriculum system is fundamental for the industry to have a sustainable and healthy development, but at present, a relatively uniform standard has not been formed. The market still needs to be educated. Compared with traditional education, the final feedback and evaluation system in children's programming is not standardized. Classroom communication, project reporting, project tracking and self-evaluation between teachers and students is required. The vast majority of parents are not very familiar with the concept of children's programming, and the market still needs to be cultivated. Competition from other industries. The competition within the track is gradually entering a fierce stage. In addition to companies within the track, there are other large-scale enterprises related to education, and other industries such as gaming and hardware, who want to get a slice of the emerging market. Educational giants such as TAL and New Oriental, English language training unicorn VIPkid, drone manufacturers DJI, Tech titan Huawei and various other huge firms have already entered the track. Business models Online and offline. It is worth noting that there are almost no offline-only or online-only children’s programming companies in the lead. Companies such as Codemao (编程猫), Tong Cheng Tong Mei (童程童美), etc., all use both online and offline teaching methods. Walnut education (核桃编程) is the only one which adopts an online-only model. At present, the training courses on the market basically have 1V1, or one-to-many small classes. 1V1 teaching has high efficiency, flexible teaching time, personalized content customization, richer classroom interaction, and it is easier to motivate students to learn. We have also seen a breakthrough in the application of the ‘human-AI dual-teacher interactive learning system.’ At present, the error judgment ability of teachers in programming learning has reached 100%, and we can say that its feedback guidance information has reached about 70 to 80%. With the support of AI data collection and analysis, the system can find a more suitable programming learning method for children, optimize human-computer interaction, and increase the fun to be found in learning. AI teachers can reduce costs to the greatest extent and reduce the burden on users in terms of the price of courses. 2B and 2C. The user base is large, but the market is fragmented, and the cost of acquiring customers is relatively high. Compared to 2C, 2B seems to be still in an early stage of development. 2B's business is now mainly to provide textbooks, teacher training and other content for schools and training institutions. Children's programming education in public schools has not yet become popular, and school programming is gradually introducing children's programming courseware and some related services.  The Capital Compared with 2018, each track declined, but STEAM surpassed K12 and became the most popular education sector of the industry for investors. Compared with a 75% drop in K12 and a 70% drop in preschool education, STEAM is relatively stable with a 25% drop. It can be seen that, despite the calmness of the industry, the STEAM education track has been least affected by the market, and there is huge potential in the future. For the development of enterprises, in addition to policy support, capital injection is also very important. In the context of the recognized capital winter in 2019, there were still 33 investment institutions that would ‘bet money’ on the children's programming track. Some investment institutions have also made multiple capital injections into the same company. The development of children's programming is still in a state of capital leadership, and the industry is developing at a rather decent pace. However, the lack of huge investments has caused the industry to show a downward trend. In order to overcome this, the companies need to let policy and innovation take over the industry instead of allowing capital to become the most solid pillar beneath it. Rather than more and more small companies entering the field of children's programming, we hope to see industry giants continue to make efforts to open up new areas and find new opportunities. Under competitive pressure from other industries and the changing of the market structure, the track is quickly becoming more exciting. 

Analysis EO
Jan 28, 2020
report
Analysis EO
Jan 28, 2020

Why is Codemao Favored by The Capital?

Codemao was founded less than six years ago, since which time the company has received 10 rounds of financing, reaching around CNY 1 billion. The pattern of funding events for this subsector of the education market is continuing. According to the disclosed information, Codemao (编程猫), Subject Code (和码编程) and PipaCoding (核桃编程) each won a deal worth over 100 million RMB respectively last year.  In a broader context, as startups in coding education have been paid particular attention by investors, and as competition is getting increasingly competitive, enterprises winning multiple large investment deals are standing out as having the greatest potential to grow into industry leaders.  In November Codemao (编程猫) announced that it had raised its Series C round of financing, worth CNY 400 million. The founder has revealed that the number of Codemao's students has reached 31.47 million. In June 2019, the monthly income totaled CNY 61.22 million; income in the third quarter of 2019 went beyond CNY 200 million. Behind such high-profile performance, what are the forces driving the rapid development of this likely unicorn-to-be? Regarding this round, Li Tianchi (李天驰), the Founder and CEO of Codemao, said: “After this round, we hope to increase investment in products and continue to upgrade the teaching system. The Octopus system is a crucial step to improve efficiency.” Backed by strong investors such as Hillhouse Capital (高瓴资本), Saif Partners (赛富基金) and Everbright (光大控股), Codemao is already ahead of many programming education institutions. The question is, why does the company get such favor from the capital market?  The company believes that technology is its core competitiveness. It has a research and development team full of graduates from top universities such as of Tsinghua and Peking University, and the other members from famous overseas schools/universities with relevant educational experience. A strong R&D team is the foundation for Codemao to quickly gain a foothold. The core product of Codemao is positioned at the front end, supporting a 9-level teaching system, using a graphical programming language to guide students to learn and create and stimulate user interest. If compared with competitors, Codemao is at the upstream of the industrial chain, with product specialty, a wider customer base for pricing and a position backed up by strong capital.  Another children’s coding company is Miaocode (妙小程), which was founded in 2017. With a total of nearly CNY 100 million in financing, it suspended its services around two months ago. The company recently announced that it had been acquired by 37 Interactive Entertainment (三七互娱). With the tightening of capital in 2019, children's programming followed the trend of children's English and children's thinking training, and ‘fell out of favor’ in the primary market. According to statistics from FirstInsight, in 2019 16 children's programming companies received investment, compared to 34 the year before. Out of the 34 programming institutions that received financing in 2018, 27 companies did not raise any round in 2019, with Miaocode being one of them. Judging from the number of investments and financing transaction events, the field of quality education claimed the top spot. There were 122 financing events throughout the year. On average, a quality education company received financing every 3 days. The children's programming firms WeCode, Codemao, CodePlanet (代码星球), Jikestar (极客晨星), Xigua Chuangke (西瓜创客), XiaoMaWang (小码王), and Walnut education (核桃编程) have been receiving continuous financing in 2018 through 2019. Among them, Codemao is the first one to have raised a C round. We cannot deny that funds are the foundation of such startups, but at the same time channels and businesses are very important components as well. Even if a project is one step behind in financing and relying on channels and businesses to explore sustainable business models, there is still a chance for the firm to survive.  In many cases, favor for a company comes through recognition of its business model and operating channels. After reviewing quite a few children's programming firms that were financed in 2018 and 2019, we found that Codemao first tried to adopt a model of online teaching and offline school collaboration. In addition, with the maturity of its curriculum system and the promulgation of favorable policies related to programming, opening up the channels of public schools has gradually become an important plan. It is reported that Codemao has reached cooperation with more than 11500 schools and educational institutions across the country. Li Tianqi, the founder and CEO of the firm, told EqualOcean in an exclusive interview that he has his eyes on the Indian market and sees it as a huge potential arena for growth. Codemao’s product marketing model mainly uses online one-to-one marketing plus offline public-school cooperation, institutional affiliation, channel dealership and other relationship marketing, which greatly reduces marketing costs, all while using word of mouth marketing and other publicity methods to enlarge publicity effect. It is Codemao that has occupied its place as the leader of the sector and has caught the attention of all parties in the education industry. Their slogan says "educate the creators of the future" an showing their interest in shaping the next generation of digital creatives minds. We will have to wait and see if these words really mean something and the firm becomes a new industry giant.  From the perspective of capital, unlike online children's English, which is one of the most popular tracks, children's programming has not attracted investors such as the BAT companies, although Matrix Partners China and Sequoia Capital China have been quite active. In addition, K12 education giants New Oriental and TAL are also stepping up their positions in the sector. TAL wholly acquired CodeMonkey and has invested in AllDream. New Oriental has invested in Jikestar and Xigua Chuangke.  On the one hand, education investment has become more and more important in family expenditure, and on the other, the younger parent structure has brought about changes in education awareness, from academic achievements to the ability to communicate and critical thinking. As a rising track in the domestic education industry, children's programming has certainly been showing a lively profile in China since 2015.

Analysis EO
Jan 26, 2020
report
Analysis EO
Jan 26, 2020

Development Status of China’s STEAM Education

STEAM education includes five major elements: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Here we have an interdisciplinary education concept – specifically, STEAM starts with encouraging students to learn five types of knowledge, emphasizing that students should complete practical projects that are more relevant to their lives, so as to use, understand and further learn a diverse knowledge set during the course of the project.  At present, mainstream domestic STEAM education training service institutions mainly adopt robot education, covering programming, mechanics, mechanical structure, industrial design and other knowledge. This is one of the specific teaching methods of comprehensive STEAM education. China has made many explorations in the process of reforming its exam-oriented education in primary and secondary schools/institutions. In the early stages, the main focus on reform centered on “quality education.” In September 2015, the Ministry of Education issued the “Guidelines on Comprehensive and in-depth Promotion of STEAM Education.” This plan proposed to explore new education modes such as STEAM education and maker education so that students would have a strong sense of information and innovation.  Not only have related policies been implemented, but Beijing has also included open scientific practice activities in comprehensive quality evaluation, which have become an important reference for the entrance examination. In 2017, Zhejiang Province’s new college entrance examination plan included information technology, which includes programming in college entrance examination subjects. In the future, more provinces are expected to follow these measures.  On the one hand, continued policy support has led to a continued increase in awareness of STEAM education in primary and secondary schools. At the same time, the reform of the test-oriented education system is also intensifying, and some provinces and cities have incorporated it into teaching practice. For example, the Beijing Municipal Education Commission uses no less than 10% of the class hours of science subjects for open scientific practice activities to encourage and guide students out of the classroom.  Talking about the market, the middle class is expanding, the parent structure is getting younger; with its popularity increasing people are starting to understand the importance of STEAM education. On the one hand, with the expansion of the middle class, parents are willing and able to invest in education. On the other hand, the number of post-80s and post-90s parents is increasing, and the parent structure of the whole society has become younger. These parents pay more attention to the development of their children's communication skills and hands-on ability. The concept of traditional exam-oriented education centered on pure academic performance has been impacted by the increasing promotion of quality education. The concept of STEAM education has begun to gain popular support, prompting parents to increase investment in STEAM education products. Meanwhile, the penetration rate of the entire STEAM education training industry has begun to speed up.  According to Deloitte the market share of STEAM+K12 will reach 24% in 2020.  Investment and financing remain highly popular. In fact, in 2019 STEAM surpassed K12 and became the most popular education sector of the industry for investors. Compared with a 75% drop in K12 and a 70% drop in preschool education, STEAM remained relatively stable with a 25% drop. It can be seen that, despite the calmness of the industry, the STEAM education track has been least affected by the market, and there is huge potential in the future. It is worth noting that, in recent years, more and more products have used robots, 3D printing and other technologies to allow children to cultivate logical thinking and hands-on skills in gamified learning experiences.  The main target users of STEAM education are primary and secondary school students. In terms of market penetration, from the perspective of an industry survey data in 2018, the penetration rate of STEAM education and training in China was about 1.5%.  The composition of the STEAM education industry chain includes three links: equipment suppliers, course providers and users. Upstream of the industrial chain is the equipment suppliers that mainly provide teaching equipment required for STEAM teaching, including robots, toys and 3D printers. Then come the course providers, that is, various training service organizations, mainly through the independent research and development or introduction of related STEAM education courses. Finally, we find mainly the customer audience of STEAM education, including B-end customers, such as schools and related educational support institutions and C-end customers, covering all types of students from K12 to university.  China's education industry has been highly valued for its significant policies, consumers and capital, and both feared and admired for its expansion phase in terms of industrial-scale and market activity. According to an estimation by Deloitte in August 2018, China's education market will reach CNY 2.68 trillion by the end of 2018 with training organizations, K12 & STEAM education and private kindergartens being the three biggest segments. Last year, in May, EqualOcean compiled a list of the top 30 STEAM education companies in China. We believe that these enterprises represent the STEAM education status quo of the country.  STEAM education in China is mainly focused on programming. From the perspective of market development prospects, children’s programming education will gradually substitute the Mathematical Olympiad. In the intelligent internet era, due to the potential of programming education to the training and shaping of children’s thinking and communication abilities, the penetration of children’s programming will increase significantly. Looking back at 2019, the number of investment events in the education industry did decrease in the context of the capital winter affecting other markets. From the perspective of financing rounds, the decline in financing in the early stages was the steepest, and the number of rounds of financing in the middle and late stages was less affected. STEAM received attention, while traditional K12 education saw a downtrend. Also as the country continues to promote the development of quality educational content in the field of science and art, the market for expanding content education after class is on a roll, something which may continue in 2020.

News EO
Dec 29, 2019
report
News EO
Dec 29, 2019

Codemao to Establish Academy For Professional Training

Li Tianchi, founder and CEO of Codemao (编程猫), announced in a conference held recently that they plan to set up a school and promote it as soon as possible. The school will provide professional training on content, management, operation, etc. for offline partners. It will also assist in the development of offline cooperative programming teaching and explore the experience and empower the industry.  In May last year, Codemao announced the “One Hundred Cities, One Thousand Stores” plan. It is expected 1000 programming centers will be established in 100 cities across the country within three years. According to Jingmeiti, the number of offline stores has crossed 600. In November this year, Codemao worked with Tsinghua University and the Educational Information Technology Standards Committee of the Ministry of Education to develop the first youth programming ability level standard. This month, the 2019 NCT National Youth Programming Ability Level Test was conducted in Beijing and Shanghai examinations were held in 19 areas across China.  Codemao’s main business comprises of online courses to teach coding, a 'creative community' to encourage communication between users, a 'campus education' to provide a systematic solution to teaching coding, and coding games so that children can play and learn at the same time. Looking into the entire market for children's programming education, it is a track that is still growing rapidly, with more players entering the market. According to FirstInsight, prior to this, a total of 15 financing events took place in the coding education sector during the first three quarters of 2019. If compared to the same period last year, the amount of financing events has dropped by 19. Prior to this Li Tianqi revealed that the number of Codemao students had reached 31.47 million. In June this year, the monthly income totaled CNY 61.22 million; and the income in the third quarter of 2019 went beyond CNY 200 million. Li told EqualOcean in an interview earlier this year that he is eyeing on an IPO at the Science and Technology Innovation board. He reconfirmed it today when he stated that the firm has hired a top investment bank in China and will officially start planning its listing. In addition, Codemao raised its Series C round of financing worth CNY 400 million earlier in November. The startup has raised a staggering CNY 1 billion over a total of 10 rounds. The company said that the net proceeds will be used for research and development of its curriculum and technology-driven services.

Analysis
Dec 27, 2019 · chinanews
News EO
Nov 4, 2019
report
News EO
Nov 4, 2019

China's New EdTech Unicorn? Codemao Bags CNY 400 Million

Codemao (编程猫) announced this morning that it has raised its Series C round of financing worth CNY 400 million. The startup has raised a staggering CNY 1 billion over a total of 10 rounds. The investors for this round include Sino-Russian Fund (a multinational private equity fund jointly established by China and Russia), Hillhouse Capital (高瓴资本), Saif Partners (赛富基金), Everbright (光大控股), Technology Financial Group (粤科金融), SMC (南方传媒), SBI(学大教育基金), Sharewin (盛宇投资), and a few more.  Regarding this round, Li Tianchi (李天驰), the CEO of Codemao, said: “After this round of financing, we hope to increase investment in products and continue to upgrade the teaching system. The Octopus system is a crucial step to improve efficiency.”  Li told EqualOcean in an interview earlier this year that he is eyeing on an IPO at the Science and Technology Innovation board. He reconfirmed it today when he stated that the firm has hired a top investment bank in China and will officially start planning its listing.  The founder also revealed that the number of Codemao's students has reached 31.47 million. In June this year, the monthly income totaled CNY 61.22 million; and the income in the third quarter of 2019 went beyond CNY 200 million.  Prior to this, the startup raised a strategic round worth around CNY 600 million in the first quarter of 2019. In the same quarter, quite a few other coding companies targeting children received huge investments - but these were overshadowed by Codemao. Founded in 2015, Codemao has an impressive record, raising two financing rounds per year. Li told EO Company that since Q4 of 2017, Codemao has been doubling its revenue every quarter.  Shenzhen-based Codemao is a Chinese online education platform focusing on coding education for children. The company uses its image-based coding systems to visualize the process for its users. Its main business comprises of online courses to teach coding, a 'creative community' to encourage communication between users, a 'campus education' to provide a systematic solution to teaching coding, and coding games so that children can play and learn at the same time. Looking into the entire market for children's programming education, it is a track that is still growing rapidly, with more players entering the market. According to FirstInsight, prior to this a total of 15 financing events took place in the coding education sector during the first three quarters of 2019. If compared to the same period last year, the amount of financing events has dropped by 19.  Following noticeable trends, Li Tianchi began to shift his focus from the company's growth scale to improvement of efficiency. iResearch has recently reported that children coding training has been worth around CNY 3-4 billion in a year China in recent times, with around 15.5 million learners. In the future with more favorable policies coming out, the revenue is estimated to reach CNY30 billion in the next 5 years.    Unlike most firms on the market who develop platforms from suitable for their own use, Codemao thought of something different. It has independently developed ‘Kitten,’ a graphical programming tool suitable for children. It is easy to use and has many functions.  In August last year, Codemao looked to extend programming from computers to mobile phones by releasing a programming software ‘Nemo.’ Starting from such tools the company has expanded its business in 2B, 2C and 2G.  As for 2B, in March 2018, Codemao officially went online with the introduction of ‘Codemao Academy.’ It is a comprehensive service platform developed by the startup to provide a complete set of programming education solutions for schools, training institutions and other teaching and research units. For its customer side business, Codemao teaches through the ‘real teacher + intelligent AI’ mode as an off-campus training institution. Codemao has always stressed on the ‘education + fun’ mode when it comes to curriculum design and has launched a series of IP images and story-based courses. It integrates the programming curriculum with the main subject, emphasizing the use of programming to solve the problems of mathematics, English, and Chinese, and hopes to break the barriers of the discipline through programming. As far as 2G is concerned, Codemao mainly cooperates with public schools in two aspects. The first is to prepare teaching materials and all sorts of textbooks. Secondly, it helps the schools with content construction. At present, the company has partnered with 11,500 colleges and universities in China, which also lays a foundation for its 2C business. Talking to EqualOcean Li said that he has an eye on the Indian market mainly because of its huge young population.  In the future, in terms of business development, based on the ‘100-City Store’ program proposed by Codemao, 1,000 programming centers will be established in 100 cities nationwide within three years.

News EO
Sep 6, 2019
report
News EO
Sep 6, 2019

Programming Meets History as Codemao Cooperates with Forbidden City

Recently, children's leading programming education firm Codemao (编程猫) and Beijing Forbidden City Culture Development (北京故宫宫廷文化发展有限公) held a signing ceremony in Shenzhen. The two sides formally reached a strategic in-depth cooperation to use technology to promote the cultural heritage of the Forbidden City.  Qin Yingfei (秦莺飞), partner of Codemao, and Niu Juntong (牛君桐), head of the Palace Culture IP Division of the Forbidden City, were the two representatives who signed the strategic cooperation agreement. The director of the China Copyright Protection Center and the organizer of the International IP Exhibition Association also attended the signing ceremony. The Forbidden City is one of the most well-known cultural and historical treasures in the world. It was reported by China daily that the number of visitors to visit the Forbidden City exceeded 17 million last year making it the museum with the most visitors in the world. It is the only museum in the world which has broken through tens of millions of people and cherishes a total of more than a million pieces of cultural relics.  However Forbidden City has never stopped innovating, taking advantage of the technology such as VR and IR to enhance the viewing experience of the visitors. Visitors at Duanmen gallery of the Forbidden City can wear a VR headset and walk around a virtual hall. They can then relax to watch a video featuring a 3D rendering of the hall.   Codemao on the other hand is a recognized leader in China’s children’s programing education. It aims to teach programing to children aged 4-16. The startup has independently created programing languages for children such as the kitten language. They teach children programing via animations and games. According to Jingmedia the firm has educated 20.6 million primary and secondary school students in China.  Li Tianchi (李天驰), co-founder and CEO of Codemao, hopes that with the help of AI, younger generation of the country will be able to witness more history and that too in an interesting way. By viewing the history through VR, unlocking the treasures of the Forbidden City in programming games etc. The younger generation will use their own language to tell the public about China's history and culture in a more vivid and dynamic way, and creatively express their understanding and thinking about traditions and cultures. Niu Juntong, head of the IP business department of the Forbidden City Culture Development also revealed that in the future, the two sides will hold a series of interesting events to promote the outstanding traditional culture of the Chinese nation in the field of youth programming education and AI programming ideas around the National Palace Museum. The two sides jointly launched the first Youth Palace Creative Programming Competition and jointly released Forbidden City themed programming open class.

Analysis EO
Aug 13, 2019
report
Analysis EO
Aug 13, 2019

Operating Modes of China's Programming Education Companies

In the first half of 2019 programming education companies led the number of financings by 12 in the quality education sector. Among which XiaoMa.Wang (小码王) completed a billion yuan B+ round of financing, Codemao (编程猫) completed a new round of financing as well, a few months ago Hetao (核桃编程) announced that it had completed CNY 120 million A+ round of financing. As the number of new-comers in the sector is increasing the competition will get fierce in the near future. But the sector is still in its early stages, and the operating model to survive in this early stage is very important. At present the operating models of thee children’s programming companies in the market include, online (recording and live broadcast), online+offline, offline etc. AllDream (傲梦) and Tongcheng Tongmei (童程童美) use the online+offline model, Sequoia backed Xigua Chuangke (西瓜创客) and Hetao (核桃编程) use the online model. We can see that different institutions have chosen different models to either lead or survive in the industry.  The new generation of parents are starting to understand the importance of programing. They do not want their children lagging behind in the race of technology. Companies like All dream, Editing and learning aka CodePKU (编玩边学) and Codemao use the online operation model.  Founded in March 2014, AllDream is one of the first players from mainland China to break into child programming circuit. At the beginning of the establishment, AllDream adopted the offline training model. However, due to insufficient education level and the high operating cost of the offline store, the company switched to a one-on-one programming in 2016 with the gradual maturity of the online model.  AllDream has raised five financings, of which B round of RMB 120 million financing is led by TAL and IDG Capital. The age of users is 6-18 years old. According to public information, the price of AllDream is CNY 130-160 per session. The frequency of class is one time per week, and the conversion course price is CNY 173-213 per hour, and the class time is 45 minutes. Editing and learning aka CodePKU (编玩边学) is mainly based on online (recording + live broadcast). According to Rhino data the company has also been financed five times. The enrollment age is 7-16 years old, and the frequency for the class is set to 2 times/week. The price is CNY 90/ day, of which the conversion price is CNY 120 / hour. Tongcheng Tongmei (童程童美) operation mode is online + offline. It is necessary to know that in the children's programming track, the operating modes of each company are different. Among them, Tongcheng Tongmei's offline business revenue accounted for 95%, and online business accounted for only 5%. Due to the relative subdivision of the programming track, offline customer acquisition costs are much lower than online. Most of the children's programming companies maintain the frequency of 1-2 times/week. Each class is of around 40 minutes to an hour. For longer courses, according to the course teacher, a short break is arranged in the middle of the course. In terms of price, it is closely related to the teaching method, ranging from CNY 36 per hour to CNY 200 per hour. Compared with the one-on-one online mode, Xigua Chuangke (西瓜创客) and Hetao (核桃编程) adopts the model of recording and broadcasting + real-time online Q&A, which focuses on small profits but quick turnover.  Art education, children's programming, and other fields have received much attention in terms of financing in the first half of 2019. As China continues to incorporate sports, art and other disciplines and comprehensive quality evaluation into performance evaluation standards, and the gradual opening of the after-school service market, 2019 Quality education will continue to attract investments in the second half of the year. Although the total amount of quality education has decreased, it is still a popular track as far as capital attention is concerned. According to the “Implementation Opinions on Regulating Online Training in Schools” “关于规范校外线上培训的实施意见” released by the Ministry of Education and six other departments, quality education is the government’s main support for encouraging development and is still in the policy dividend period. At present, there are more than 200 children's programming entrepreneurial projects and companies on the market. In the field of quality education, the number of outdoor education finances has grown and is set to become a new hot sector of the industry. At the same time, children’s programming education is still on top of the list for capitals, in which as mentioned above Codemao (编程猫), XiaoMa.Wang (小码王) and Hetao (核桃编程) received a large amount of financing of over CNY 100 million.  

News EO
Aug 2, 2019
report
News EO
Aug 2, 2019

Codemao to Have a COO from New Oriental

On August 1, Chen Wanqing (陈婉青), founder of New Oriental’s Kuxueduona (酷学多纳, also known as Donut) announced that she had joined Codemao as chief operating officer. Kuxueduona is an English education brand targeting children from two to twelve years old. It is founded in February 2012 and possesses a series of products ranging from English learning applications to English reading materials. Li Tianchi (李天驰), CEO of Codemao, said, “Chen Wanqing is an important complement to our team. She will bring us the operating experience from New Oriental, optimize our operating activities and thus raise the profit rate.” Actually, two months ago, there was news that Chen had resigned her post in New Oriental, where she was the general manager of the department of online education for children. Chen has more than ten years’ experience in the education of children. Apart from New Oriental, she had also worked in Tsinghua University Press, Babytree (宝宝树) and an English education company named Qooqo English China, according to Sina Education. Previously, Codemao has launched the “M+” strategy, which means “CodeMao + other industries”. The company will cooperate with media, architects, ed-tech companies, teachers and educators. Besides, the programming education company plans to open 1000 offline branches in 100 cities in China within three years. Undoubtedly, Chen Wanqing’ s role is crucial for the company’s new strategy. As Li Tianchi revealed, the total revenue of Codemao was around CNY 61 million (USD 8.8 million) in June and that the operating cash flow of the company had turned positive in March. How to maintain or to improve profitability during future expansion will be the main concern of the company.

Analysis EO
Jun 28, 2019
report
Analysis EO
Jun 28, 2019

Codemao, a Real Hardcore Player of Programming Education for Kids

Compared with other K12 areas, programming isn’t widely recognized by Chinese parents, except for some top-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai. But as the Chinese government has been emphasizing the need for developing programming education for children during the past few years, this sector becomes more and more dynamic. Among numerous players in this field, Codemao (编程猫), a technology-driven startup founded in 2015, is rising above the others. During 2015, the industry is still groping its way. Several companies like Alldream(傲梦) set up around that time mainly started from offline classes, but they faced many problems such as high operating costs of offline institutions, the doubt of parents and so on. Codemao has chosen another way. It decided from the very beginning to develop its own programming language after recognizing the deficiencies of Scratch - the visual programming language developed by the MIT Media Lab. Scratch is until now the most commonly used language in programming education for children, though it is limited on PC. Finally, Codemao released its visual programming application Nemo and visual programming language Kitten in May 2018. With these two powerful tools, programs can be written on mobile phones. Just in the same month, the company closed its Series C round of funding led by CMB International (招银国际), followed by the Beijing News (新京报), Landscape Venture Capital (山水创投), Green Pine Capital Partners (松禾资本) with an amount of CNY 300 million. According to Li Tianchi (李天驰), the founder of Codemao, these two achievements are truly “the future of programming education for children”. Apart from Nemo and Kitten, Codemao has also constructed a comprehensive network of programming education. It has built an online community for children as well as one for teachers, employing the UGC (User-generated Content) to attach customers to its product. Also, the company has designed several games or game-like learning applications to make children practice in an interesting way. Besides, Codemao started first its toB business rather than toC. It provides online courses and hardware services both to private programming training institutions and public schools. According to the company, it cooperates with more than 7000 institutions and schools at present. Private institutions constitute its major source of revenues while public schools can enjoy free services in exchange for data. With the huge amounts of data accumulated this way, Codemao can keep training its AI teacher, whose image is an old cat named Maolaozu (猫老祖), to a very high level. Thus, when Codemao entered the toC market, it could avoid a lot of expenses on the recruitment, payment, and management of teachers. However, like all the other online education platforms, the high CAC remains the sword of Damocles over their heads. Even listed companies like New Oriental (新东方) have such worries as well. LI Tianchi said prudently that the company will probably attain the balance between revenue and expenses in 2019, and that their CAC is merely 30 - 40% of their competitors. Owing to its toB business, Codemao benefits from a widely acknowledged reputation and a relatively stable market share, which guarantees it a healthy expansion mode. As the company has announced, at the end of 2018, Codemao has 3 million domestic toB users and hundreds of thousands of toC users. So far, Codemao has raised nearly CNY 600 million in 7 funding rounds. On January 25 of this year, it closed its strategic round of funding with an amount of at least CNY 100 million. As the only one who has arrived at the strategic funding round in this sector, the company aims high. Early in this year, Zhang Wei (张炜), the CFO of Codemao, has announced that their plan is to go public within 2 years. For the time being, the industry of programming education for children isn’t mature enough. In the domestic market, platforms either adopt the learning standards of the US, either cooperate with overseas institutions and introducing their standards, leading to the disorder of the sector. Additionally, programming isn’t an inelastic demand until now, which results in difficulties in expanding. Besides, teacher resources is a rather severe problem. Facing competitors like IT companies, programming education isn’t very attractive for talents, not to mention the necessity of teaching experience.   Now that leaders of K12 education like Xueersi (学而思) have also entered the industry, it will be vital for startups to preserve talents and technology advantage, otherwise, they could be easily devoured. Therefore, the exploration of Codemao on AI teacher training is a move with foresight.

News EO
Jun 24, 2019
report
News EO
Jun 24, 2019

Codemao Holds M+ Strategy Conference

On June 21, Codemao’s (编程猫) M+ strategy conference was held in Beijing. At the conference, Codemao released its new five strategic system upgrades for its market, brand, service, technology, and curriculum reported Jingmeiti. Codema's five major system upgrades: • In terms of market upgrades, Codemao introduced its “100 City Stores” program and reached strategic cooperation with Focus Media. • In terms of brand upgrade, Codemao invited the former CCTV famous host, Codemao's chief recommendation officer Zhang Quanling, "Chi Zhifu" host Jiang Changjian, "Super Speaker" champion Liu Yuanyuan as the brand spokesperson. • In terms of service upgrades, Codemao cooperated with the Finnish National Library designer Päivi Meuronen to create 1,000 children's programming school centers and set up a professional training team to provide more than 1 million hours of training services. • In terms of technology upgrades, Codemao upgraded the online teaching network system to achieve full coverage of AI teaching. • In term curriculum system upgrade, Codemao jointly developed the famous teachers and the 400+ teaching and research team to develop the programming knowledge according to the new Chinese and American curriculum standard. Zhang Quanling, the founding partner of Zi Niu Fund, said at the press conference that she was both a parent of a Codemao student and an investor, and finally became the spokesperson of the company. She believes that children's programming is a demanding industry with strong vitality. On January 25, 2019, Codemao announced the completion of a new round of financing. This round of financing was led by Everbright Holdings'. The old shareholder Zhanbo Venture Capital continued to invest and accumulated financing of nearly CNY 600 million. At the time, the company revealed that it will start listing in 2019 and go public within two years.  

Read more