Chinese ed-tech firm Yuanfudao bets on online learning startup Oda Class

Chinese ed-tech firm Yuanfudao bets on online learning startup Oda Class
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Pigeon Education, which owns online learning platform Oda Class, has raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round from Beijing headquartered digital education major Yuanfudao.

The Bengaluru-based company will use the funds to upgrade its technology platform and expand product offerings, a statement said. 

Founded in 2019 by Shushant Srivastav, Oda Class offers live coaching for students from grades 6-10 in subjects such as Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. It on-boards educators from engineering and science postgraduates. 

The platform uses artificial intelligence (AI)-based learning module for its live lectures. It offers a dual teacher system where lectures are delivered by a master teacher while chat-based interaction is provided by a tutor teacher. 

The company claims that it has on-boarded a million users in just 50 days of launch and plans to reach 10 million users by December.

“We are happy to be backed by a partner like Yuanfudao, one of the most successful online education platforms in China, which has not only brought capital but business acumen and market expertise to the table. We think with their support we’ll be able to capture a considerable amount of market share by the end of 2020,” Srivastav, co-founder of ODA Class said.

Yuanfudao, an online education brand offering coaching from kindergarten to grade 12, claims to have more than 400 million users in China. It says it is the first unicorn in the ed-tech segment in China with a current valuation of more than $ 3 billion.

The company has a variety of online education products such as tutoring, question banks, search questions, oral calculations and AI courses and provides online lessons, intelligent exercises and problem analysis.

Yuanfudao is backed by global investors such as Boston headquartered asset management firm IDG Capital, technology-focused investment firm Tencent Holdings, private equity firm Warburg Pincus, venture capital firm CMC Capital Partners and Matrix Partners, according to information on its website.

“As a company, we are always committed towards the growth and development of the education system and we saw the same spirit mirrored in ODA Class,” Li Yong, founder of Yuanfudao said.

A new entrant in the ed-tech space, Oda Class will compete with well-established players such as Naspers backed unicorn Byju’s, Sorting Hat Technologies owned Unacademy, Tiger Global-backed Vedantu and Reliance Industries-owned Embibe. 

This month, Unacademy raised $110 million in a growth funding round from General Atlantic and Facebook along with existing investors Sequoia Capital India, Nexus Venture Partners, Steadview Capital and Blume Ventures. 

Vedantu raised an additional $24 million as part of its Series C round, led by Menlo Park, California, and Shanghai-based venture capital firm GGV Capital along with existing investors. 

Bengaluru-based Byju’s in February expanded its current funding round with an additional $200 million infusion from existing investor General Atlantic, taking its valuation to $8.2 billion.