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Online education on the eve of the outbreak is still the palm game of BAT.

via:博客园     time:2018/6/29 16:37:22     readed:369


The online education market, which has been hot but not fired, may soon become the first decent outlet in 2018 under the influx of capital hot money.

In the first half of this year, only in the field of K12 education, various domestic startup companies have obtained more than US$1.5 billion in total financing. Just within a week of last week, at least four online education companies had announced financing news, amounting to over RMB 3 billion.

The online young children's English brand VIPKID which has entered the D+ round harvested a total of US$500 million in investments from Coatue, Tencent Industry Fund, Sequoia Capital China Fund, and Yunfeng Fund. It has become the largest online education in the world to date. Financing.

The return of capital after the bubble dissipated

In fact, the eruption of online education in China began as early as 2013. In 2012, AOL Education Bound was always enthusiastic about bringing the proven business model of the United States back to Chinese entrepreneurs. China’s online education has mushroomed since 2013.

The capital market is also buoyant, setting off a wave of online education investment that lasted for three years. Tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars of investment have emerged one after another. Today's online education unicorn, VIPKID, was founded in 2013. In the first round, it earned only US$5 million and was jointly invested by Jingwei China Leading Innovation Workshop and Sequoia Capital.

However, although online education can theoretically rely on the Internet for quality transformation, entrepreneurs actually blindly copy foreign models, do not combine China’s specific national conditions, and lack understanding of the nature of education, resulting in confusion in business models.

Many nascent companies quickly fell to the starting point of the track, and the amount of capital entering online education also decreased significantly. In addition, the June 2015 stock crisis has made it even more difficult for the online education industry, which has shaken investor confidence.

Although online education has just started to have a very large bubble, "Internet + education" is not a false proposition. The inequality in the distribution of educational resources also exists objectively. Difficult enterprises that have survived have begun to search for efficient ways that meet their own and China's national conditions.

In addition, the year-by-year increase in the market size and the favorable policies have foreshadowed the hidden market potential of online education.

According to the latest data survey conducted by iMedia Consulting, China’s online education market has grown steadily since 2012, and its annual growth rate has stabilized at 30%. In 2018, the online education market exceeded 300 billion yuan and reached 348 billion yuan.


The market of more than 300 billion yuan is not small, but it seems that it is almost the same as China’s huge education population. It is not surprising that according to the media information, the scale of the K12 community in 2018 is expected to exceed 160 million people, but the K12 online education market has only 19.869 million users, and the penetration rate is only 11.6%.


“K12” means that Kindergarten (K) refers to the 12th grade of the United States. This concept was introduced into China mainly covering the education system from the first grade of primary school to the third grade of senior high school. This group is usually aged 6 years old - 18 years old. K12 is also the most important market for online education.

The low penetration indicates that the K12 online education market is still a state of blue ocean and has strong market development potential. In the future, if the potential of K12 users can be more widely used and penetrated, then the online education market is undoubtedly another trillion-level market.

Online education helps to solve the problem of unfair education resources and is naturally supported by national policies. In August 2017, the State Council issued the Guiding Opinions on Further Expanding and Upgrading the Potential of Information Consumption and Sustained Release of Domestic Demand.

"To expand online education and build a combination of curriculum teaching and application services, quality online open courses and resource libraries. ”

It can be said that from the brutal growth in 2013, after 5 years of precipitation. Online education has made great progress in terms of user size, policy environment, and exploration of the company's own business model.

A large number of potential unicorn enterprises, VIPKID, a homework, Hujiang Online School, VIPABC, counseling, learning tyrants, education, homework, live broadcast optimization, etc. have begun to emerge, becoming the new darling of the capital market. In particular, after the completion of the USD 500 million D+ round of financing by VIPKID, the valuation of up to 20 billion yuan made all companies and capitals begin to take a look.

The recent media exposure and the heavy sales of various well-known advertising resources, such as the sponsors of the “Very Challenge” in English, have driven these formerly unnamed online education companies to become star companies. It is favored by the capital market.

Online education is still a BAT game

Counting the winds of recent years, BAT's participation in each of these events is a major concern. With huge market potential for online education, the three will naturally not be absent.

In addition, BAT's layout in the education market has its own priorities and its main direction is not the same. However, all of them have covered their entire market with their own technological advantages, scale advantages, and strong capital advantages. From a time perspective, the three BAT companies entered the market earlier, all around 2013.

Tencent and Alibaba have just started to develop educational products, such as Tencent’s “Tencent Premium Classes”, Ali’s Taobao Education, and Baidu’s online live interactive education platform, Baidu, in June 2013 as an investment. Capital injection of 10 million US dollars.

Perhaps the most closely related to its own business, Tencent has the largest investment in education. In 2013, Tencent entered the education market for the first time with Tencent Premium Class. And in July 2014, we invested in English App App, and formally laid out the online education industry. According to the external investment data released by the Tianxia investigation, as of now, Tencent has invested overseas in 23 education companies.

Among the 25 investments made by Tencent, K12 accounted for eight, and early education companies accounted for six. The question bank, VIPKID, etc. "Unicorn" are included.

Since the beginning of this year, Tencent has continuously invested in VIPKID, VIP training, onion mathematics, quiz English and baby play English education companies.

VIPKID can grow into today's unicorn company without the support of Tencent. In August 2017, Tencent participated in the D-round investment of VIPKID. At this time, the $200 million financing has set a record for the single financing in K12 online education. This year's D+ round, Tencent again followed suit. Tencent last year announced that it has reached a comprehensive strategic cooperation with VIPKID in cloud services, artificial intelligence, Internet education, and education public welfare. Therefore, it is no accident that VIPKID can rise rapidly.

Tencent also insists on building its own educational products. From 2013 till now, Tencent Fine Arts Courses focusing on vocational education, Tencent Classrooms focusing on vocational education, Tencent University focusing on general education, K12 Education Penguin Guidance, and Tencent Smart Campus have been established.


As early as 2013, Ali launched “Taobao Classmates” to use a live interactive operating model to build a hybrid education platform. It also attracts world-renowned training institutions such as Global Internet School, Shanghai Hujiang Education and New Oriental.

In 2014, Ali led the B-round investment in English education brand VIPABC under TUTOR GROUP. The final investment amount of VIPABC reached 100 million yuan.

Prior to investing in Alibaba, the brand was not well-known. After a huge amount of investment, the brand got fired quickly. The first thing to do was to find Yao Ming as the endorser, and then advertise it in public places such as elevators and subways.

In addition, the three-round financing of VIPKID has the shadow of Ali's Yunfeng Fund. In general, Alibaba's layout in the field of online education is not as broad as Tencent. It only lays out key enterprises and key areas, but its education market focuses on offline markets and university education.

Alibaba announced in 2016 that it will start “Alibaba Cloud University Cooperation Program”. The top ten data schools in the region are mainly university, industry, and industry-intensive. In 2017, they also invested in a private international K12 school. “Cloud Valley School ”.

Baidu's layout in the education market is not as good as Tencent. However, it is still widely used. There are 11 investments before and after, involving 9 educational products.


Baidu's investment ideas focus on the application of AI technology in education development. Baidu Smart Classroom was launched by Baidu Education based on AI technology at the end of 2017; 2017 Baidu Education Annual Ceremony also launched AI education products such as knowledge catcher, VR class, AR knowledge point analysis, intelligent lesson preparation, and lightning assessment.

The three BAT companies that have long been well-positioned in the education market have already rushed to the door.

It is foreseeable that until the east wind blows, the online education market is a giant palm game, and it is difficult for small players who have not entered the game to have any chance.

Everything is ready for online education,Want to really break outWhat else do you need?

Even if we say that the soil of the online education market has matured and capital has been put in place early, the inherent characteristics of the education industry have determined that online education is about to erupt in an all-out manner and that many difficulties still need to be overcome.

Ma Huateng once said at the two sessions that in the Internet + field, "Internet + education" and "Internet + medical" are the most difficult. This is a very real story, education and medical care, because of the high cost of trials and the complexity of the offline environment, the difficulty of Internet transformation is not in a single dimension compared with the consumer industry.

One of the characteristics of recent online education hotspots is that not all areas of the online education market are showing signs of eruption, but most are concentrated in some specific vertical markets.

The most obvious of these is "online one-on-one", especially with the VIPKID as the representative, and the trend of one-on-one children's English tracks is most pronounced.

The reason is that one-to-one children's English clearly solves the shortcomings inherent in online education. Compared to the traditional offline education, online education has always been criticized for three shortcomings: poor experience, poor control over students, and poor emotional and teacher-teacher agility.

And because of the entry into the field of children's English, parents' demands for children's points are not so urgent. This makes online one-on-one English and takes the lead in achieving the ideal of online education. It can not only obtain high-quality educational resources (VIPKID is the main foreign teacher in North America), but also because one-on-one has the same force and emotional stickiness as offline education. .

However, if you break away from the one-on-one track, you will be separated from the children and expanded to the entire K12. The situation will be very different. The three short boards have become prominent moments. Some online education companies have made great efforts to solve these problems. For example, enhance interactive design, engage in small classes, increase online teaching assistants, and let teachers perform services remotely.

Although there will be a certain effect, it is impossible to complete the bucket.

Instead of trying to fill in its shortcomings, it's better to make your strengths longer.

The strengths of online education, many people think that the main teacher is good, this is good, good teachers is the main selling point of all online education companies. But there is one point that needs to be made clear. The teacher can't teach it better. If the students would have or wouldn’t have learned it at all, it would be pointless.

Therefore, the first strength of online education to do good should be to accurately expand the teaching efficiency.

Public schools will take care of education fairness, and it is impossible to stratify. The offline counseling class may have difficulty in stratifying because of the number of classes.

However, there is no difficulty on this line, and students in different levels can be divided into suitable classes and teachers in order to maximize the teaching effect and make use of the advantages on the line.

Another advantage of online education is in fact "game-based learning" and better landing. Gamification learning may be an ultimate learning experience that is pursued both online and offline. Traditional offline learning is difficult to truly make games, whether domestic or foreign.

Because the essence of the game is to have a timely reward system for participants. This requires a large amount of data generated during the learning process to be collected in time and quickly fed back to the participants.

Only online education can do it, but how to give full play to this technological advantage and do a good job of gaming learning is the key to making breakthroughs in online education.

These are the details of online education product planning. In fact, the entire market has high costs and the repurchase rate is not high. However, if these capital level things can really make a real demand at the product level, they will usher in a large market. The outbreak will be solved immediately.

[Titanium Media Writer: New Technology, New Media Companies "New knowledge" from its own media, WeChat ID: kejixinzhi

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