A Chinese online language company uses tech in innovative ways to build a global teaching portal.
According to Chinese media consultancy iiMedia Research Group, sales revenue in China’s online education segment reached 33.4 billion USD last year and is expected to rise 24 percent in 2018. Startup VIPKID is looking to take advantage of this growth by recently raising 500 million. At a valuation of over 3 billion, this makes VIPKID one of the fastest-growing startups in all of China. Investors include big names such as Tencent Holdings Ltd, Sinovation Ventures, Yunfeng Capital, and global investment management firm Coatue Management.
VIPKID provides online video lessons for students, and relies on its ability to recruit and retain top quality teachers. The company currently has more than 500,000 students and over 60,000 teachers on the platform, close to double their numbers from the previous year. As with most gig-economy companies, appealing to quality workers is as important as signing up new customers. To hire teachers, the Beijing-based company relies on the services of a global background check firm called Sterling and on novel uses of tech. According to co-founder Chen Yuan, technology is a crucial part of the business. The company uses artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the teaching process and filter out teachers with low assessment scores.