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News Jun 2, 2020 04:29 pm EqualOcean

Kaishu Story's First Live-Stream Promoting Brings CNY 11.68 Million Turnover

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Jul 15, 2020 04:00 am ·

Ten of the Most Anticipated Upcoming New Retail IPOs in China 2020

Even though COVID-19 has impacted business activities globally, the Chinese stock market has recovered rather quickly, and the IPO deals have been pushed through at almost the same levels as at the same time last year. Investors are quite optimistic about Chinese stocks – the stocks added about $1 trillion in value last week after the government encouraged investors to buy the country’s shares. EqualOcean has long been keeping a close eye on China’s retail companies. In this article, we will introduce ten companies that are most anticipated for their potential IPOs, given investors’ increasing optimism in Chinese IPOs and the transformation of new retail companies. Yuanfudao is a unicorn company, founded in 2012 and focused on Chinese K12 online education. It is competing with GSX and Zuoyebang as one of the Chinese top edTech companies during the Covid-19 epidemic. In eight years, Yuanfudao’s cumulative service users have already exceeded 400 million. It owns products such as Xiaoyuan Souti, Xiaoyuan Kousuan, Yuantiku and Banma AI that cover a broad spectrum of studying scenes. On March 31, Yuanfudao officially announced the completion of its latest G round financing, led by Hillhouse Capital, Tencent Investment, Boyu Capital and IDG capital. After the round was completed, the valuation of Yuanfudao reached $7.8 billion. Zuoyebang was internally incubated by Baidu in 2014, and it started to operate independently in 2015. It began with tool-based education applications like photo search. After accumulating a certain number of users, Zuoyebang cut into the online live class market. Currently, it has various educational products, including Zuoyebang, Zuoyebang Zhiboke, Zuoyebang Kousuan. With more than 800 million cumulative service users, Zuoyebang is presently the largest K12 online education platform in China. Its latest E round fund happened on June 29 and helped the company raise $ 750 million. Xingsheng Selected was founded in 2014. It seized the opportunity of community group purchases and fresh e-commerce platforms, forming an e-commerce platform focused on community groups. Already deployed in 12 provinces, it has tens of millions of active users, with over 7 million daily orders. On June 1, Xingsheng Selected got a B round financing of $200 million from KKR. It was also revealed as one of a number of Changsha companies under listing in 2020, and it is possible it will be the first community group fresh retail company to go IPO. The firm competes with Qdama, Miss Fresh, Tongchengshenghuo in China. Read more about Qdama Miss Fresh is a fresh retail unicorn founded in 2015. At the beginning of 2020, the monthly active users of Miss Fresh were in first place in the market, with more than 2.7 million users, followed by Yonghui Life and Hema Xiansheng, with 1.9 million and 1.5 million MAU respectively. In May, Miss Fresh also completed its latest round of financing with multiple investors, including CICC, according to 36Kr. This round of funding will add pressure on its peers, at least on the pre-warehouse track. Kidswant specializes in mother and child products, aiming to provide an all-inclusive business model to meet the demand of expectant mothers and children aged 0 to 14. On April 23, 2018, Kidswant was delisted from NEEQ,  despite increasing positive revenue and more than 16.7 billion CNY in market value at the time. In recent years, its online platform has gradually gained customers through its offline store reputation and premium membership population. On July 13th, the official website of Shenzhen Stock Exchange announced the prospectus of Kidswant, which mentioned Kidswant’s plan of raising 2.45 billion CNY through IPO on GEM. Miniso was founded by Guofu Ye and Japanese designer Miyake Junya in 2013. It initially positioned itself as fast-fashion retail stores, with most product pricing around 10 CNY. It sells very similar products to big brands like MUJI, but at a much lower price, also includes successful joint name products like the ones with Marvel. In 2018, Miniso received 1 billion CNY strategic investment from Hillhouse Capital and Tencent Investment and launched its project of preparation for an IPO. Perfect Diary is a Chinese cosmetics brand founded in 2017. It has recently discussed IPO matters with several investment banks and is expected to be listed at the end of this year or the first half of 2021. Its investor lineup has been quite strong, including prestigious institutions like Zhenge Fund, Boyu Capital, Tiger Global Management and Hillhouse Capital. Naixue Tea (known as Nayuki) is a well-known domestic tea brand founded in 2015. All stores are directly operated, and not allowing any form of franchise. The main products include Xunhaocha, hand-made soft French bread and cold bubble tea. It emphasizes the quality and freshness of ingredients and aims to develop healthier drinks than traditional milk tea. Recently, the market rumors reveal a potential US IPO plan of Naixue Tea, aiming at raising as much as 400 million dollars. Jiang Xiaobai is a Chinese light-aroma baijiu brand with a focus on the market of young adults. It was founded in 2012 by Shiyuan Tao, who founded the new trend of a younger population in online alcohol consumption. Jiang Xiaobai’s investors include Hillhouse Capital, Sequoia Capital, IDG Capital and other domestic first-tier funds. Reuters reported that Jiang Xiaobai planned to IPO to raise $500 million to $1 billion in 2020, but the firm has denied this news. Genki Forest was founded in 2016 and is well known to consumers for its representative product – sparkling water. In 4 years, Genki Forest has completed four rounds of financing with a valuation of 4 billion CNY. Its product category has evolved from the initial sugar-free sparkling water to the current sugar-free tea, milk tea, fruit tea and other beverage subdivisions. On July 4, Genki Forest’s first self-built factory in Chuzhou was opened to the public for the first time. It has three high-speed production lines with an annual output of 450 million bottles. Market Analysis Although spreading through the spectrum of the retailing industry, all ten companies have emphasis on digital transformation. For the online education market that includes Yuanfudao and Zuoyebang, the market has crushed out more and more small-to-middle-size players in recent years because of its high cost of winning new customers and building a stickier customer base. The increasing advertisement fee and low conversion rate add pressure on giant players, but at the same time promotes creative products with higher efficiency like AI classes and double teacher live broadcasts. Future differentiators in the industry are very likely to be the ability to independently generate followers and to develop high-quality educational products. For the cosmetics market and soft drinks market that, includes companies like Perfect Diary, Naixue Tea, Jiang Xiaobai and Genki Forest, the main players all aim to attract the younger generation. Their advertisement through different online platforms like Xiaohongshu and Tiktok, their fashionable designs and PR strategies all boost their short-term popularity. However, behind the high revenue growth among these companies, ongoing challenges are still building up around consumers’ confidence in domestic products. With unsustainable sales strategies oriented around Japanese-like brand names and cheaper substitute concepts, we see further limits to the possible future margin growth. For fresh e-commerce companies like Xingsheng Selected and Miss Fresh, EqualOcean expects the differentiator to be the ability to break into third and fourth-tier cities, where local lower-priced farm goods create higher barriers to entry. With a long supply chain built into the market, every adjustment and renovation could significantly increase the cost. This kind of challenge also caused a high amount of bankruptcy in the industry at the end of 2018. Besides, more prominent companies like Meituan and DiDi have also entered this community group fresh e-commerce business, posing challenges to smaller ones.

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Jul 13, 2020 11:17 am · Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games official WeChat account

Yuanfudao Becomes the Official Sponsor of the 2022 Winter Olympics

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Jul 5, 2020 11:26 pm ·

H1 2020 at a Glance: China's Online Education Industry Boom

Businesses in many physical industries have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but the catastrophe has also provided new opportunities for the development of many online industries, as well – one of which is the online education industry. China's online education market has maintained steady growth over the past five years. The COVID-19 epidemic in 2020 has brought new vitality as it boosted demand. It is expected that China's online education users will reach 309 million by the end of 2020. Due to traditional face to face education coming to a halt at the start of the year, online education has witnessed an explosive growth. Students from all over the country started online classes at home. Some of the leading K12 online education firms took the opportunity to announce the provision of free courses during the outbreak, allowing them to gain a maximum number of users.  Talking about K12 online education firms, Yuanfudao set a new record with a staggering USD 1 billion financings in March. Following that, Zuoyuebang, another online education firm, nabbed USD 750 million for its series E round, becoming the second-highest valued edtech unicorn in China.  From celebrity endorsements, naming various popular online variety shows to placing small video ads on Douyin, Zuoyebang, Yuanfudao, Youdao and other head K12 online institutions have been working hard to prepare ample ‘ammunition’ to meet the upcoming summer enrollment season. Other than K12, vocational and quality education tracks saw their popularity increase with Tencent and 58 other firms investing in related companies. Let's use the data to see what was happening in the domestic education venture capital market throughout the first half of the year. According to statistics collected by EqualOcean from ITJuzi, in the first half of 2020, there are 10,640 companies in the field of Education. Of these, 60% had no investment, 28% were invested in and the investment question is not clear about the remaining 12%. In the industry, the angel round stage accounted for the largest proportion of 37%, followed by the A round stage, accounting for 31%. As can be seen, a large number of companies are still in a very early stage, because it is a result-oriented industry. The product's effectiveness needs to be verified and observed over a long period of time.  As 2019 broke, we were all warned of China’s forthcoming ‘capital winter’, only to wake up in Q1 to mega-rounds from Zhangmen (USD 350 million), DaDa (USD 255 million), Andela (USD 100 million) and opening Q2 was Coursera’s USD 103 million Series E. 2H 2019 saw the surge continue with mega-rounds from Knowbox (USD 150 million), ByJu’s (USD 150 million), VIPKid (USD 150 million), Zhihu (USD 434 million), Ruangguru (USD 150 million) and Guild (USD 157 million). Little did we know what 2020 would bring. COVID-19 and way too many video calls later, 1H 2020 has marked a resurgence in mega-rounds, averaging a USD 100 million round per month. In the space of six months, EdTech has it’s very own giant (that didn’t come from China or the US), Yuanfudao has set a new high water-mark with a USD 1 billion round and ‘mainstream’ investors are venturing to learn more about the future of education, the role of technology and the opportunities to participate in that growth. In the first half of 2020, 112 investment events occurred in the Chinese education industry;, the number of transactions fell by 32% month-on-month and 45% year-on-year. The total amount involved was CNY 19.6 billion, an increase of 15% year-on-year. ; The decline in the number of financings in the field is obvious, but the total amount of financing has risen, and the average amount of single financing has also increased by 77% year-on-year to CNY 175 million. Over the past three years, the activity of CNY funds in the field of education investment and financing has been significantly higher than that of USD funds. The number of CNY transactions accounted for more than 90%, and the transaction finance accounted for about 55%~62%; but in the first half of 2020, the total amount of CNY transactions substantially declined and the total amount of USD transactions exceeded CNY transactions for the first time, accounting for 77%. Talking about the amount of funding in the first half of 2020, out of the 112 investment events, the largest number of transactions were in tens of millions of yuan. 19 firms raised more than CNY 100 million, with a total financing amount of CNY 15.7 billion, accounting for 80% of the total financing. Now we should dig deeper into the firms which actually boosted their financings in the first half of 2020. We have short-listed the top 10 education firms with the highest amount of funding raised. These firms are backed by the likes of huge investors such as Tencent, IDG, Sequoia, Temasek etc.  As far as the sub-sectors are concerned, quality education dominated the number of financings with 26, which only totaled CNY 1.3 billion. K12 education showed its dominance, with 18 investment events adding up to CNY 12.4 billion.  As the largest subdivision track in the field, K12 Education has always attracted capital. In the first half of 2020, K12 Education’s financing amount accounted for 60% of the entire industry. Yuanfudao’s new round, worth USD 1 billion, was the main reason behind it. It was followed by the highest single amount of financing in the field; in June, the Zuoyebang completed its E round of financing, worth USD 750 million.  Other than that, listed Chinese edtech companies have shown their strengths as well. NetEase Youdao released its Q1 unaudited financial report which showed the firm has achieved a steady growth for a fifth consecutive quarter. Another US-listed firm, GSX Techedu, has been a hot topic. Its financial results have been found too good to be true for some US research firms. The Chinese online tutoring company has been shorted as many as 10 times in the first half of the year but the stock is showing no signs of weakness – instead, recently it hit the highest ever amount since it was listed.  With Edtech companies such as Yuanfudao (猿辅导), Zuoyebang (作业帮) and Xueba (学霸君) suddenly catching the limelight and seeing this as an opportunity, major Internet companies have stepped up their efforts in the online education track as well.  Alibaba (BABA: NYSE) launched a product called 帮帮答, directly translated to ‘help me answer.’ It is a paid question and answer platform for primary and secondary school students for academic problems. This is the first independent product launched by Alibaba in the field of education. Zhang Yiming, the founder of the world’s most valued unicorn, ByteDance, expressed his intention to consider and plan for a new strategic direction towards education in a letter released on the eighth anniversary of the company. “The online tutoring market has been very hot recently, and many people ask about my company's business progress. In fact, I am not anxious and have patience. I think it is still very early. The education business must have more fundamental innovations, of course, provided we have a deeper understanding. Especially for a company that already has a successful business, starting a new business is not easy. Bold attempts in new fields are an important part of starting a business.” Zhang said. It is evident that the epidemic has created a window of opportunity for huge tech giants to enter the education industry – but at the same time firms which are already are in the business have stepped up to prove the strength and advantages of online education. By providing free online classes, companies such as Yuanfudao, GSX Techedu and Zuoyebang gained millions of users.

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Jun 29, 2020 11:03 pm · Jingmeiti

Yuanfudao Aims at Early Education with New App

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Apr 9, 2020 03:15 pm ·

Yuanfudao Joins Forces with Wuhan’s Optics Valley

On April 8, Yuanfudao, China’s highest-valued education startup, announced that it has reached strategic investment cooperation with the ‘Optics Valley of China,’ in Wuhan. The partnership will increase the scale of investment in Wuhan and promote the introduction of new talents. Wuhan’s Optics Valley is the second independent innovation demonstration zone in China and regarded as one of the most intellectually intensive areas in the country. It is reported that in 2017 Yuanfudao built its second headquarters in the region. At present, it already has a team of more than 4,000 employees. It is expected that by the end of this year, Yuanfudao will provide more than 10,000 local jobs. The company’s headquarters in Wuhan has fully resumed work, with the first batch of 600 employees currently on duty. According to the company, its Wuhan branch actively participated in the various disinfection activities in the city, made preparations for epidemic prevention materials, and formulated anti-epidemic procedures and emergency plans. The news of the cooperation was released at the ‘Cloud Investment Promotion’ event held by the Wuhan local government. It is reported that the event involved more than 60 companies including Alibaba, Xiaomi, Walmart, China Unicom, etc., and the total signed projects exceeded CNY 200 billion. Wuhan serves as an important teacher reserve base for Yuanfudao. After the outbreak, the firm made an emergency donation of CNY 10 million to the local government of Wuhan for the purchase of urgently needed medical supplies. Yuanfudao informed a local media channel that in order to boost employment in Wuhan this spring the firm has issued an official recruitment notice for more than 1500 fresh graduates, and will also expand to a total of 5,000 local recruits in the city.  It is worth mentioning that Yuanfudao recently completed a new round of financing worth USD 1 billion. Hillhouse Capital led the round, followed by Tencent, Boyu Capital and IDG Capital. This is the largest amount of capital ever raised by a Chinese education company. Prior to this, the record was held by VIPKid, in a USD 500 million D + round of financing in 2018. Yuanfudao is now valued at USD 7.8 billion becoming the highest valued private education firm in China. 

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Mar 31, 2020 09:46 am ·

Yuanfudao Secures a Staggering USD 1 Billion Round of Financing

The online education brand, Yuanfudao, has completed a new round of financing worth USD 1 billion. Hillhouse Capital led the round, followed by Tencent, Boyu Capital and IDG Capital. It is worth mentioning that this is the largest amount of capital ever raised by a Chinese education company. Prior to this, the record was held by VIPKid, in a USD 500 million D + round of financing in 2018. Yuanfudao is now valued at USD 7.8 billion becoming the highest valued private education firm in China.  The founder of the newly promoted startup Li Yong announced the news in an open letter in which he also revealed huge figures of newly acquired customers for primary and 2-8-year-old school online classes.  Yuanfudao started off as a search tool product called ‘Yuan Question Bank,’ back in 2012 and then shifted its business model to online class education. Since then, the firm has managed to raise a total of eight rounds of financing from renowned investors such as Tencent, IDG Capital, Warburg Pincus, Hillhouse, etc.  As of March 2020, in addition to the Beijing headquarters, the company has established teaching and research centers and branches in 11 cities across the country, including Wuhan, Shenyang, Nanjing, Xi'an, Zhengzhou, Chengdu, Jinan, Changsha, Tianjin, and Chongqing with over 15,000 employees. After nine years of continuous investments from well-known investors, the cumulative number of users of different products of Yuanfudao has exceeded 400 million. Among them, ‘Yuan Question Bank’ has provided 800 million problem practice services for students nationwide, ‘Xiao Yuan Search’ has provided 36 billion homework tutorials, and ‘Little Yuan Corrector’ has over 250 million daily corrections. According to market research firm App Annie, from January to mid-March this year, Yuanfudao ranked first in ‘educational’ in-app purchases in China's app stores. In February, Alibaba developed DingTalk, which became the most downloaded free application. Koolearn and Xueersi, online education firms owned respectively by education giants New Oriental and TAL, have also rapidly harvested a large wave of traffic. Up-and-coming industry leaders such as the above mentioned Yuanfudao (猿辅导), GSX Techedu and Zuoyebang, also saw their users soar. GSX Techedu recently claimed to have attracted 15 million students to sign up for its free courses, with Zuoyebang attracting a staggering 28 million students within 2 months. EqualOcean mentioned earlier in an article that we will be seeing more such financing events in the near future where leading tech firms such as Alibaba and ByteDance will either invest in these companies or will take the opportunity to develop their own online education-related products. 

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Aug 5, 2020 02:57 pm · heibandongcha

15 Education Firms Raise a Total of CNY 975 Million in July

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Aug 5, 2020 01:41 pm · NetEase

TAL Responds to Secondary Listing Rumors

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Aug 4, 2020 05:03 pm · Jingmeiti

GSX Techedu's Market Value Exceeds that of New Oriental

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Aug 3, 2020 11:37 am · TechWeb

Gree Electric Repurchases 5.99 Million Shares

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Jul 31, 2020 03:50 am · https://www.jiemian.com/article/4751149.html

Meituan Dache Reuses Price War to Compete for 10% of Market Share in Main Cities

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