17 Technology Group (艺旗科技集团), commonly known as Meishubao (美术宝), has claimed lately that it closed its Series C1 funding round led by Tencent, with a total amount of USD 40 million. The other investors include BlueRun Ventures, Hony Capital, Welight Capital and so on.
Founded in 2014, Meishubao was initially an online education platform connecting high school art students and art training institutions. It offered to art students online courses, critique for paintings and information of art colleges.
Following the example of online K12 education companies, Meishubao has developed another platform dedicated to art education for children, which was named Meishubao 1to1. Different from its competitor 61draw (画啦啦), it only provides one-to-one art courses targeting children aged 4 to 12. It is said the company will add one-to-many classes and AR animation courses as well this summer.
Gradually, Meishubao has sprawled its business to the whole art education sector. From Meishubao 1to1 (美术宝1对1) to Microschool (微校) which is a SaaS for art training institutions, it intends to construct a comprehensive network of art education in China.
Thanks to its previous accumulation of art students, Meishubao 1to1 has the advantage of abundant teacher resource. Moreover, because of the huge amount of art students, the cost of teacher wage is reduced to 30% of PCT (per customer transaction). An online course of Meishubao is CNY 100 - only 50%-70% of an offline class. And it spares parents the time spent on transportation, which is surely a big attraction for them. Besides, the conversion rate of free trial lessons is approximately 30%. Considering all, the profitability of Meishubao is promising and has much potential. According to Gan Ling (甘凌), the founder of Meishubao, the company will make a profit of CNY 700 million in 2019.