By Ashley Galina Dudarenok China was one of the first countries to contain the COVID-19 epidemic with relative success, and the economy is better for it. The National Statistics Bureau reported 4.9% growth in China’s Q3 GDP year-on-year, showing improvement against both its 3.2% growth in Q2, and [...]
Baijiayun’s management and employees increase stakes in the company as well
Chinese video technology company Baijiayun has secured RMB178 million (approximately US$26.5 million) in its Series B round of financing, the company announced in a statement late last week.
Baijiayun management and employees have also increased their stakes in the company to the tune of tens of millions of RMB, the statement noted.
The Series B round was led by Shanghai-based private equity firm GP Capital, with participation from industrial investment firm Qinglan Capital, Beijing-based CASH Capital (Guoke Jiahe), and Shenzen-based Houde Qianhai Fund, the statement said. The deal was advised by Taoli Capital and Hailan Capital, it also said.
The funding will be utilized towards expanding the company’s sales network, and increasing research and development (R&D) investments, particularly in video technology and AI, Founder and CEO of Baijiayun, Li Gangjiang noted in the statement.
Li added that the company would also continue to pursue diversification as an operational strategy, and expand its product lines through mergers and acquisitions.
Baijiayun was founded in 2017 as a national tech company focusing on core audio and video technologies, and related intellectual property. The company offers stop video Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solutions in the sphere of education.
Its product suite include live classes, on-demand cloud services, dual-teacher classrooms, online schools, corporate live broadcasts, corporate internal training, and video conferencing, amongst others.
Its cloud-based solutions also include social marketing, video AI recognition, smart classrooms, and big data solutions, the company said.
“[Baijiayun] not only provides cloud video services for educational institutions, but also provides educational institutions with product innovation, large-scale expansion, and enhancement of customer stickiness and single customer value,” Investment Director at CASH Capital, Lu Yongchang said in the statement.
“The full range of tools, including marketing automation and AI value-added applications, fully empower all types of educational institutions in technology and business,” Lu added.
Baijiayun has a presence across China through its offices and R&D centers. Over half of its 350 employees are technical personnel with a background in product design, testing, and technology, the statement noted.
It added that the company has grossed over RMB100 million in revenues in 2019.
Prior to its Series B, Baijiayun had previously raised US$9.4 million in a Series A round in 2018 from Xiaodu Tv, Huatu Capital and BaishanCloud, according to Crunchbase data.
It subsequently topped the round with RMB10 million in a second Series A round from Guiyang Venture Capital and Bangsheng Capital in 2019
The company has worked with several enterprise customers including Huatu Education, Puxin Education, Xueda Education, and Elite Education, and has reached over 200 million users to date, the statement said.
It added that Baijiayun has also enabled educational institutions to build their own online course platforms, such as with Chinese public universities Shandong University, Sichuan University, and Communication University of China.
The company noted in the statement that revenues from Baijiayun’s live broadcast hit a record high this year and the company continues to remain profitable. The company is expecting revenues to continue hitting new benchmarks despite volatility due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the statement said.
“Cloud video services are facing huge development opportunities in the cloud native and 5G era. The [pandemic] has accelerated market maturity and demand outbreaks,” Partner at Qinglan Capital Ren Gang said in the statement.
“Baijiayun is an excellent startup company in the field of cloud video technology services. We are deeply impressed by [their] deep technical experience and efficient execution capabilities,” Ren added.
The Chinese edtech market has seen a surge amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, with schools shut and students continuing their education through online mediums. As of March 2020, users in the online education space in China stood at 423 million, a sharp uptick from the 232 million in June 2019.
Chinese edtech unicorns have raised some of the biggest funding rounds in this space this year. While Yuanfudao raised $1 billion through its Series G round in April 2020, Zuoyebang also raised $750 million in June this year.
On the whole, the edtech industry is expected to reach RMB453.8 billion in 2020, on the back of growth at 12.3% from the previous year.
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