Don’t miss out these headlines for the week: Shopping guide app completes USD 5M Series-A fundraising; China’s Care.com raises USD 12M in a Series B fundraising; Online home-decorating company raises USD 21 million in series B financing
Online educational product provider completes USD 31M Series C fundraising
Spring has arrived for the Chinese online education industry. Last week, a Beijing-based online education app raised USD 60 million in B-series funding. On Friday, an O2O educational product shopping guide completed its C-series fundraising of RMB 200 million (USD 31 million).
The funding was lead by Tangel Publishing Co., Ltd. and IT training company Tedu.cn. Previously, Juesheng.com completed its B-series funding in March, led by ChinaEquity Capital and followed by New Oriental Group and Linear Venture.
Juesheng.com, established in 2012, is a platform providing products for students between 3-22 years old, covering preschool education, K12 education, and vocational education. Juesheng.com claims to have over 220,000 merchants, 14 million registered users and 16 million app downloads.
After this round of fundraising, Xiao Zhihong, Chairman of Tangel Publishing Co., Ltd. will be added to the board of directors of Juesheng.com, whose board members also include Yu Minhong, founder of China’s leading educational institute New Oriental Group and Wang Chaoyong, founder of ChinaEquity Group.
“Juesheng.com has done a great job in combining mobile internet and education, and its growth has surpassed my expectation since it received investment from New Oriental Group”, said Yu.
Shopping guide app completes USD 5 M Series-A fundraising
A shopping guide app named DIAOX2 announced it has completed a Series A fundraising of USD five million, led by China Growth Capital. Before this, it had received USD one million from Crystal Stream in an angel round, the Tech channel of NetEase news portal reported on Wednesday.
DIAOX2, an app that provides quality product recommendations targeting young consumers came out in November 2014. This round of investment will be used to strengthen the R&D team, with funds slated for recruiting more talent, said founder Liao Ruoxue, ex-president of the Technical Committee of China’s searching engine Baidu.
DIAOX2 consists of four sections: Recommended Goods – goods picked from different countries and tested – Search, Classified hot stuff, and Pictures from users.
The founder said that what makes the app different from the gadgets column or community contributions is the intelligent recommendation engine and search engine, thanks to the search engine and personalized recommendation system provided by Baidu. To illustrate an example, entering either “backpack”or “presents for boyfriends” as keywords can lead users to selected interesting products of good quality from around the world.
Wu Haiyan, Partner of China Growth Capital, an investor in this app, said that in the mobile internet era with overwhelming products, Diaox2 is like a sweet friend, helping direct consumers to quality goods and making lives better.
China’s Care.com raises USD 12 M in a Series B fundraising
Unlike the plummeting U.S. home services market, online home service platforms are mushrooming in China. The latest winner is Shanghai-based O2O domestic service company Yunjiazheng, announced to have received its series B fundraising of USD 12 million.
This round of funding was led by SIG with a follow up by returning investor BlueRun Ventures, IT news website DoNews reported on Wednesday. Xue Shuai, CEO of Yunjiazheng discloses that funding will be used to expand services into more Chinese cities, fastening the service process and improving service quality.
Founded in 2010, Yunjiazheng resembles the B2B2C model of China’s biggest e-commerce site Taobao. Without offline stores or contracted housekeepers, Yunjiazheng is more of a platform, through which businesses register as online stores, for customers to search and order house cleaners, child care workers, and maternity matrons.
The company eyes surpassing the American family service platform and public company Care.com, the largest of its kind in the the world, having debuted on the New York stock exchange in 2011. Care.com suffered a net loss of USD 17.4 million in the third quarter 2015, a 20% year-over-year decrease due to the overall declining U.S. family service market. Care.com’s rival Homejoy shut down in July.
In contrast, online home cleaning service firms have mushroomed in China’s large cities since 2014, all having sniffed the great demand from busy urbanites who want their housework done.
Service providers that can be named are mostly based in Beijing, including Tencent-invested 1jiajie, the first to receive its series C funding among the rivals; 58 Daojia, owned by China’s largest classifieds site 58.com; Ayibang who has received tens of millions of dollars in series B financing, and Xiaomaguanjia, or Pony Housekeeper in English backed by Matrix Partners China.
Online education platform completes USD 60 M B-series financing
Online education platform Afanti.com has completed a RMB 387 million (USD 60 million) B-series fundraising from Shenzhen Capital Group, Fenghuang Xiangrui and Lang Ma Feng Venture Capital, Tencent Tech reported on Tuesday.
Founded in July 2014, Afanti.com has become the “biggest real-person online Q&A platform countrywide,” on which tens of thousands of registered teachers communicate with and solve problems for 20 million registered students, according to Tencent Tech.
In terms of technological development, the site came up with a new “photo search” function. Parents or students can simply take a picture of the question and the search engine automatically picks the right answer from its huge database of difficult questions.
The Afanti 2.0 can even identify hand-written formulas and solve them through automatic calculation in seconds.
Prior to this round of fundraising, Afanti.com had received RMB 10 million funding from Plum Ventures and Amphora Capital. In January 2015, it completed a RMB 116 million A-series funding led by Amphora.
Online home-decorating company raises USD 21 million in series B financing
Internet home-decorating company ikongjian announced on Sunday that it has completed USD 21 million (RMB 135 million) in B-series fundraising. This round is led by Greenwoods Investment, followed by Shunwei Capital, who previously invested in ikongjian’s series A funding, reported Sina News Portal.
Shunwei Capital is founded by Lei Jun, founder of Chinese smart phone maker Xiaomi.
Its parent company ijiazhuang, established in 2014 in Beijing, calls themselves a poineering internet company in interior decoration and old apartment renovation.
The company manages its own decorating teams online, instead of signing labor contractors, as conventional decorating firms do. The company offers a price of RMB 699 per square meters, and the whole decoration process can be done in 20 days at the fastest.
According to Chen Wei, CEO of ijiazhuang, ikongjian has introduced its services to 12 Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu, in which a 1500 square meters exhibition hall and a 3000 square meters warehouse are to be built. The firm has completed 2000 orders since it was founded, he added.