Online coding school Codemao secures $57 million funding
Chinese online education platform Codemao has announced this week that 400 million yuan ($57 million) has been secured in a Series C round of financing led by the Russia-China Investment Fund.
Codemao specialises in offering online coding classes to children and young adults.
Also joining this round of funding were Hillhouse Capital; Asia-focused private equity firm SAIF Partners; Everbright New Economy USD Fund, a $483-million investment platform of Hong Kong-based financial services company China Everbright Limited; and Chinese state-owned Guangdong Technology Financial Group.
These new investors join Codemao’s existing shareholders, including Chinese internet-focused venture capital firm Crystal Stream, Beijing-based mobile apps developer Cheetah Mobile, and China’s GreenPine Capital Partners, all of whom also participated in the investment.
Despite an overall economic slowdown last year, startups which are offering programming classes continued to rake in capital.
Deal Street Asia noted that almost $116 million across 33 deals was poured into programming education, according to the Blue Paper of Education 2018, valuing the market at about $580 million.
Codemao sees coding education seen as essential to China’s future
China’s enthusiasm for coding education continues to grow as the country moves towards becoming an artificial intelligence (AI) powerhouse by promoting the development of domestic high-tech industries including robotics, aerospace, smart manufacturing, and autonomous vehicles.
This high prioritisation of AI has even made its way into the curriculum. In July 2017, China’s State Council issued a statement recommending AI curriculum development in primary and secondary schools.
In 2018, a pilot project Zhejiang, a province in eastern China, included coding as part of college entrance examinations.
Founded in March 2015, Codemao is operated by Shenzhen Dianmao Technology Limited and delivers online coding education to over 31 million students in 11,500 public schools across 23 cities, provinces and autonomous regions in China.
The company has booked over 200 million yuan ($28 million) in corporate income in the first three quarters in 2019.
Pic: Cameron Barnes