Baidu Backs an Online Education Firm to Rival Bytedance
Baidu’s entrance into K12 English education came only weeks after ByteDance launched a direct challenge to Baidu’s core business by setting up its own search engine.
Baidu (Nasdaq: BIDU) has invested an undisclosed amount in an online education institute Qkids (久趣) in its Series C1 round.
Qkids is a leading online education platform that connects North American English teachers with over 600,000 Chinese students from ages 4 to 12 years old. Using a narrative game-based curriculum, teachers guide students through fun and dynamic learning experiences while in the comfort of their own homes.
Founded in 2015, Qkids has become a national leader in cross-cultural online learning and has offices in Shenzhen, Xiamen, Guangzhou, and Beijing. The company previously completed its Series B financing round led by IDG Capital.
The latest round of financing was led by Baidu followed by Shenzen Capital group (深创投), and Qianhai FOF (前海母基金跟投).
Xutian Fu (傅旭天) CEO of Qkids said that the amount raised will be used in product development, talents, and marketing. Which will further improve the teaching quality, service quality and as well as accelerate the layout of the emerging market.
"As a Chinese search engine giant, Baidu is a key entry for customers to access information and services efficiently and conveniently."
Fu further added, "The cooperation between Baidu and Qkids can help more children to gain growth in the valuable learning process."
Baidu’s rival ByteDance set up a similar online English tutoring platform as early as last year. ByteDance, the company behind viral short-video app TikTok, has also reportedly tested a new English learning app called Tangyuan English according to KrAsia.
Bytedance recently invested in China's second-largest Wikipedia-like platform Baike, which is a direct competitor of Baidu Baike.