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News EO
Jul 18, 2019 10:07 pm ·

Knowbox Changes Brand Name, Positioning as AI Education Company

Beijing-based education online platform Knowbox defines itself as AI education company, renaming the business after a USD 150 million funding round. The Alibaba and Baidu-backed company held a press conference on July 18, announcing its (Chinese) brand name changed to Xiaohe Keji (小盒科技), literally "small box technology", from Zuoye Hezi (作业盒子), meaning "homework box".  "Knowbox will not only focus on homework thereafter," said Liu Ye (刘夜), the founder and CEO. After the name changing, the company is to target AI education, building an intelligent education ecosystem on-campus teaching and home counseling. "AI education companies are essentially education companies at the current stage; It's not possible for AI teachers to replace human teachers," according to Xia Zhijin (夏志进), general partner at Vertex Capital.  Based on its website information, Knowbox is offering Chinese largest series products of teaching tools for public school teachers and students as well as AI-enabled adaptive learning services for students. The company also offers programming courses to children, laying out STEAM education.  Previously, the Edtech company focuses on optical character recognition (OCR), branding itself as a homework product, with a slogan "use Knowbox to take a picture and get homework corrected."  "Knowbox gained a good reputation for OCR correction. Teachers from public schools are using it, but it is not the only player to get into China's school system," said Gouyu (苟瑜), analyst from EO Intelligence.  Starting with mathematics education, Knowbox has expanded its services into 31 provinces, more than 400 cities, 100,000 schools, reached out to 40 million users and collected more than 40 billion pieces of studying behavior data. In OCR homework correction area, top player Zuoyebang (作业帮) has a user number upward of 200 million, and Xuebajun's (学霸君) user number achieves 90 million. "Granularity is the key to adaptive learning," according to Gou Yu. It is easy to evaluate whether a student understands it if there is only one knowledge point, but normal teaching and homework questions involve multiple knowledge points. If a student fails to answer one question, AI technology helps to determine which knowledge piece is missed. "This is a process requiring long-term iterative algorithm development based on user data," she said. 

News EO
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News EO
May 30, 2019 10:56 am ·

Alibaba leads the investment as Knowbox raises USD 150 Million

Jingmeiti reported today that Knowbox, an app which helps students get the most from doing homework by providing personalized exercises, has completed a new round of financing of USD 150 million, led by Alibaba, which has zoomed the startups' valuation to more than USD 1 billion.  In April 2019, according to the company's information, the parent company of Knowbox had a shareholder change, and LIU Qiangdong (刘强东)and his controlling Dongchen Investment (东辰投资) all withdrew from the shareholders. The industry once thought that Knowbox could not last for a long time. Knowbox received a USD 10 million Series A financing in July 2015, led by Good TAL (好未来), Liu Qiangdong and Angel Investor Lenovo. Liu Qiangdong held a 4.35% stake in the company, and Dongchen Investment held a shareholding ratio of 1.31% before withdrawing.  The startup was founded in July 2014. It is an Internet education technology company dedicated to promoting the development of intelligent education. Through big data and digitization, it provides mobile app tools to help teacher check and students attempt homework. Knowbox has also been very active in the AI+education sector. Last year, the firm joined “SOHO China” to set up an AI teaching experiment class, which is dedicated to promoting the popularization of AI+ education. Liu Ye (刘夜), founder and CEO of Knowbox believes that AI can improve the quality of education in areas which lag behind.  As of November 2018, according to the data released by the company, the number of Knowbox users has exceeded 40 million, covering 100,000 schools in more than 500 cities in 31 provinces, meaning 70% of the primary schools in the country use Knowbox.  Despite a slowing of China’s economy recently, the online education market of children from kindergarten to high school is set to triple to CNY 150 billion (USD 22.33 billion) by 2022, according to data from iResearch.