|By Business Wire||
|February 17, 2014 11:00 AM EST||
TutorGroup, the leading online education platform and largest English-language learning institution in the world, today announced the closing of a nearly $100 million USD round of Series B financing, with participation from Alibaba Group, Singapore investment company Temasek and Qiming Venture Partners. TutorGroup plans to use the funding to accelerate further growth of its leadership position across Asia, and also expand its presence in the Americas.
To commemorate this pivotal moment in growth for TutorGroup, the company has established a scholarship for Chinese language learning students in the United States and Singapore, offering 10,000 free sessions to students selected from an application contest on TutorMing.org. Students can apply on TutorMing.org by submitting their photo and an essay. Winners will be selected by popular vote.
“There is a strong need for an education platform that teaches how people learn today,” said Dr. Eric Yang, CEO of TutorGroup. “Students want to learn on their schedule, with world-class teachers, and with a technology platform that provides the best learning content, class size and pace to suit their needs, while guaranteeing a high quality and effective learning experience. Our rapid growth in Asia over the last 10 years has confirmed that students prefer to learn on our platform. There is still a massive audience of potential English language learners that have not yet been exposed to VIPABC and TutorABC. We also plan to better address the growing Chinese language learning market in North and South America by offering students an opportunity to learn on TutorMing.com, our Mandarin Chinese education platform.”
“We are excited to work with each of these excellent partners, and look forward to using this round of financing to further scale our platform, employees and operations to accelerate our growth into a global leadership position for online education,” Yang continued. “Alibaba is one of the world’s most respected and successful platforms, and their support of financing is a strong sign of support for our own technology,” Yang continued. “We are pleased to have the support of Singapore-based Temasek as we expand our business. Qiming Venture was our main investor during our last round of financing, making their reinvestment a strong vote of confidence in our strategy and leadership.”
With more than 2,000 teachers in 30 countries and 60 cities around the world, TutorGroup provides real-time interactive language learning through millions of class sessions annually. Launched in 2004, with offices throughout Asia and a core R&D team based in Silicon Valley, TutorGroup created the first commercially available synchronous learning portal in the world, connecting online learners and teachers wherever they are around the globe, and dynamically recommending the optimal class size, learning pace and content, selected from more than 10,000 hours of already-created learning material.
The recommendations are honed through a proprietary technology platform that combines software, the individual student’s history, and data analytics, leveraging the data from more than 10 years of online courses, totaling more than 5 million sessions. The technology stack also serves as a 24/7 support module, a CRM tool, student and teacher memory, course management, and a “classroom manager” that ensures each student learns at a pace and a class size that best suits them.
This platform and technology stack make TutorGroup the best solution for the future of online education. Its recommendations for content, course size, teachers and pace improve as students complete more courses. At any given moment, more than 10,000 hours of course content is available for live learning, all of which is user-rated and is constantly checked for accuracy and against current events. Teachers and students can each learn when they want and where they want, and at their own pace. Neither the teachers nor the students need a brick-and-mortar school, helping education reach hard-to-access areas.
Through this platform, TutorGroup currently offers online language-learning courses, such as TutorABC and VIPABC for English-language learning for students in the greater China region, TutorABC Jr. for English language learning students between the ages of 8 and 18, and TutorMing for Chinese language learners internationally.
The financing comes at a time of rapid growth for the company:
- Through VIPABC.com and TutorABC.com, students have 24/7 access to more than 2,000 highly qualified teachers, most of whom are TESOL certified, native English language speakers that live in the United States.
- VIPABC.com and TutorABC.com have served more than 5 million classroom sessions, combining for more than 10,000 hours of course content, all of which is dynamically accessible for classes at any time.
- Further, TutorGroup forecasts the adult English language-learning segment alone within China is growing at 25% annually, and will grow to more than U.S. $21 billion by 2016. Within China alone, TutorGroup expects sales to experience a triple-digit annual growth rate in the years to come.
- Earlier in January, TutorGroup announced a partnership with former NBA star and global icon Yao Ming, who is also focused on improving global education through the Yao Ming Foundation. To kick start this partnership, TutorGroup and Yao will jointly provide 30,000 English-language lessons to students of the Yao Ming Foundation free of charge, delivering quality English-language lessons across China, including rural areas where finding a quality English teacher can be more difficult. Yao Ming will also be the global spokesperson for TutorGroup.
QUOTES FROM INVESTORS AND PARTNERS:
Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group:
“Alibaba believes in supporting entrepreneurs with great vision,” said Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group. “Just like our founder Jack Ma, a teacher himself who made it a priority to educate our next generation, TutorGroup redefines the experience of learning and has made education more accessible to more people. We are excited to partner with Dr. Yang and the TutorGroup team to take their vision to the next level.”
J.P. Gan, Managing Partner of Qiming:
“TutorGroup has experienced incredible growth since the last round of funding nearly two years ago. They are the online language learning leader across Asia, and their technology and platform are perfectly positioned to help them expand their lead and further scale, not just in Asia, but in the Americas as well. We look forward to our continued relationship with TutorGroup, as they become the world’s leading online education platform.”
Wenwei Wu, General Manager of CyberAgent Ventures:
“As an existing shareholder and business partner of TutorGroup, we are excited for their opportunity at accelerated growth. This round of investment underscores their rapid growth throughout Asia, showing that their platform is truly the best for online education. Our senior-level leadership team is dedicated to assist TutorGroup in its future development throughout Asia, including Japan.”
In connection with the Alibaba, Temasek and Qiming investment, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP represented TutorGroup and the transaction was led by Cadwalader’s head of Greater China corporate practice head Rocky T. Lee. TutorGroup’s PRC counsel was Han Kun Law Offices, its Taiwan counsel was Meriholl Law Firm and its offshore counsel was Travers, Thorp & Alberga. BofA Merrill Lynch acted as external financial advisor to TutorGroup. Temasek was represented by Miranda So of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP as lead counsel, Fangda Partners as PRC counsel, Baker & McKenzie as Taiwan counsel and Walkers as Cayman counsel. Qiming Ventures was represented by O’Melveny & Myers.
TutorGroup is the premiere online education platform and largest English-language learning institution in the world, serving students that range from global business professionals to young children. Founded in 2004, TutorGroup has educated students in 40 countries, and hosted more than 5 million classroom sessions through its four, award-winning service product businesses, including VIPABC, TutorABC and TutorABC Jr. for English training and TutorMing for Mandarin Chinese. Visit www.tutor-group.com for more information.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
Dec. 18, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 506
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 442
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
Dec. 18, 2014 12:30 PM EST Reads: 630
Mobile commerce traffic is surpassing desktop, yet less than 20% of sales in the U.S. are mobile commerce sales. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Franklin, Segment Manager, Commerce, at Verizon Digital Media Services, defined mobile devices and discussed how next generation means simplification. It means taking your digital content and turning it into instantly gratifying experiences.
Dec. 18, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 924
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 12:00 PM EST Reads: 951
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 11:30 AM EST Reads: 714
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
Dec. 18, 2014 11:00 AM EST Reads: 2,066
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 1,801
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 2,201
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:30 AM EST Reads: 1,738
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:15 AM EST Reads: 2,033
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,846
ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 18, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,793
SYS-CON Media announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, VP of Marketing, Application Performance Management and DevOps at CA Technologies, has joined DevOps Journal’s authors. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Aruna's inaugural article "Four Essential Cultural Hacks for DevOps Newbies" discusses how to demonstrate the...
Dec. 18, 2014 10:00 AM EST Reads: 1,609