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Online tutoring service uses hardware to emulate classroom

Sanhao’s self-developed device Haoxuebao. Photo from, an online education platform, just secured RMB 75 million (USD 11.5 million) in Pre-A financing, pushing its valuation close to RMB one billion, according to the platform.

The company said on Friday that it will use this round of funding for technology development, which currently takes up 48.7% of the company’s total spending.

Founded in June 2014, the company provides live-stream one-on-one lessons for kindergarten to grade 12 students. After administering an online test to students, it automatically uses big data to design lesson plans and recommends teachers based on the result.

The company differentiates itself from other e-learning providers by providing users and teachers with its own device, a writing tablet attached to a camera that is supposed to help emulate the conditions of a real classroom.

In six months after it officially went online in July 2015, there were 70,000 registered teachers and 30,000 students on the platform. The company received 30 million in revenue in 2015.

“Our targets in 2016 are to reach 25,000 users and RMB 250 million in revenue,” said He Qiang, CEO and founder of the platform.

The platform faces a lot of competitors in the online education field. Many apps for online K12 tutoring have already emerged, including Baidu’s Q&A app Zuoyebang, tutoring Q&A platform and the Little Ape app, which provides Khan Academy-like services for K12 students.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, there were 162 million Chinese K12 students at the end of 2013. According to a report from Chinese market research agency Analysys, only 8% of the total K12 population in China were using online education services in the first quarter of 2015, meaning the market has a lot of potential.

(Top photo from Baidu Images)

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