TutorGroup Raises US$15 million from Qiming Venture Partners to Fund Expansion in China
SHANGHAI, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Online language live tutoring company TutorGroup (the parent company of VIPABC.com and TutorABC.com), a premier provider of live synchronous e-Learning services, announced today that it has raised US$15 million in growth financing from Qiming Venture Partners. This investment will fund the rapid expansion and broad delivery of TutorGroup services throughout China.
The fast growth of China's private education market is being driven by globalization, and the English tutoring segment that TutorGroup primarily targets has an addressable market of over US$17 billion by 2015, which is growing at 25% annually. Mr. JP Gan, Managing Partner of Qiming Venture Partners, said: "We value the tremendous potential of TutorGroup's scalability, augmented by worldwide teaching resources via internet; TutorGroup's tutors and customers are all situated all around the world, a true practice of globally operating business model." He added, "We look forward to building a great company together and becoming the world's largest online education platform."
Dr. Eric Yang, TutorGroup's CEO, said: "Our partnership with QiMing Venture Partners represents another significant milestone for TutorGroup. It demonstrates a strong acknowledgement of our achievement and viability of our business model."
Since 2004, TutorGroup has been a leader in the development of a scalable e-Learning platform for 24/7/365 non-stop live tutoring. TutorGroup is currently one of the world's largest online live language training companies to provide its customers self booking and customized learning solution with its proprietary software for dynamic learning experience. Synchronous interaction between teachers and students during online classes has swept the market of professional clienteles and major corporate. To date, with VIPABC.com and TutorABC.com in mainland China and Taiwan respectively, TutorGroup has conducted over 5 million classes for their student and clients accessing in 14 countries.
To address and maintain teacher quality, TutorGroup as a leading brand employs the industry's most rigorous training program; and TutorGroup was the first to introduce a merit pay program where student review of teacher performance sets teacher pay, creating a self-sustaining ecosystem of top quality instructors.
TutorGroup has established a cloud computing architecture for personalized language training. This proprietary architecture is today complimented by a network of over 1,000 certified tutors in 60 cities worldwide, providing students 24/7 access to quality English language consulting in 14 countries. TutorGroup offers online classes from conversational and business English to preparation for standardized language tests. With its suite of proprietary software modules to monitor and enhance the live learning experience and patented fuzzy-coupling mechanism that smart-selects lesson plans and teachers based on the student's background, preferences, proficiency level and needs, TutorGroup has redefined the concept of customized learning solutions.
TutorGroup's launch of its browser-based TutorMobile® classroom on the Android platform in 2011 marked the world's first synchronous application of its kind; and the much anticipated release of TutorMobile® on the iOS for both iPads and iPhones in the second quarter of 2012 will again raise the bar in classroom delivery, making learning truly mobile and universally accessible.
Dr. Eric Yang, TutorGroup's CEO, said: "Teaching is noble and virtually still a service business. TutorGroup embraces e-learning 2.0 and strives for each customer to take control of and maximize the use of their time in learning. The internet has flattened the world, and it has changed the fundamental landscape of education. We will continue to bring disruptive innovation into this evolving frontier. TutorGroup's quality of education is built upon our 'Education as a Service' philosophy."
TutorGroup's initial focus on the language learning needs of working professionals and major corporate has quickly expanded into multiple brands and products to service different markets. Of particular importance is the addition of TutorABCJr.com for students from grades 6 to 12 and Mandarin language training under the TutorMing.com brand, a premium segment showing promising growth. Notably the number of AP Chinese language exam test takers and those studying Mandarin in US colleges have doubled in recent years, making Mandarin the fastest growing second language in the U.S. On a worldwide scale, learners of Mandarin have reportedly reached 40 million. This trend signals an enormous market opportunity for accelerating TutorGroup's expansion into diverse geographic and language markets.
About Qiming Venture Partners
Qiming Venture Partners is a leading venture capital firm in China with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Seattle. Founded in February 2006, Qiming currently manages five funds with US$1.1 Billion in assets and focuses on early to growth stage investments in Information Technology, Internet and Consumer, Healthcare, and Cleantech. Qiming's over 20 partners and investment professionals who all have strong operational experience and successful investment track records add a great deal of value to the portfolio companies. Qiming has invested in over 60 companies and many of them have gone IPO or mergers and acquisitions. Qiming has established a great reputation and strives to be the top investment partner by the Chinese entrepreneurs. Visit www.qimingventures.com for more information.
Founded in 2004, TutorGroup is a leading, online language institute specializing in English training in Asia and Mandarin Chinese training for global business professionals. TutorGroup created the first commercially available synchronous learning portal in the world and developed four prominent service product businesses including VIPABC.com, TutorABC.com, TutorABCJr.com for English training and TutorMing.com for Mandarin Chinese. To date TutorGroup has conducted over 5 million classes in 14 countries. Visit www.tutor-group.com for more information.
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