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article imageFemale-founded VIPKID raises $500 million in latest funding round

By Lisa Cumming     Jun 23, 2018 in Business
The Beijing-based startup, co-founded by now-CEO Cindy Mi, that connects english-speaking tutors with students online is now being valued at over $3 billion. VIPKID is one of 23 'unicorns' in the world with a female founder.
In a Series D+ funding round, the VC-backed startup raised $500 million. In April, Bloomberg reported that VIPKID was finalizing the deal that would put the value of the company at over $3 billion, "making it the world's largest online education startup," but the company released an official announcement earlier this week.
This most recent funding round was led by Coatue Management, Tencent, Sequoia Capital and Yunfeng Capital.
In less than a year VIPKID has received $700 million in financing, due to its $200 million Series D funding round in August 2017.
Worldwide there are 239 "Unicorns": VC-backed companies valued at $1 billion or more. Of those, there are only 23 that have a female co-founder.
CEO Cindy Mi gave an interview to Fast Company earlier this year on how she and co-founder Jessie Chen thought to connect North American teachers to Chinese pupils, without having either leave their home country. VIPKID uses AI to help them analyze student engagement and they're looking to expand beyond having teachers from North America.
"Twenty years from now, I think the definition of schools will be very, very different, [thanks to] technology and personalization," said Mi in the interview. "When we are reading a news feed, it’s personalized. Why are we not reimagining learning in this way?"
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