“Cultivating global competence of Chinese children”

Founded: 2013 in Beijing, China

Category: Online education

Primary office: Beijing (China)

Core technical team: Beijing, China

Status: Private

Range of employees: 5001-10,000

Amount raised: $1.1 billion (5 rounds – September 19, 2019)


  • Online one-on-one English as a Second Language (ESL) learning platform that connects English teachers from United States and Canada with Chinese children
  • Expanding into other educational areas, such as bringing Mandarin courses to children globally
  • Transform the shape of traditional education on a global scale and provide a new model for future education
  • Mission: Inspire and empower every child for the future



  • Estimated valuation: $3+ billion
  • Revenue: $760 million (2018)



  • 100,000 teachers and 700,000 students (up to 2020)
  • 5+ million classes/month
  • Ranked No.84 on Hurun Global Unicorn List (2019)
  • China’s most Innovative Companies (Forbes 2019)
  • “Top 10 best places to work 2020” (Glassdoor 2020)
  • “World’s most innovative companies” (Fast Company)


  • VIPKID: provide online English one-on-one 25 minutes courses to children aged 4 to 15
  • Lingo Bus: provide online Mandarin courses to children globally
  • Dami Wangxiao: provide online mathematics and English classes to children aged 6 to 18


  • “Bring a friend” to obtain free courses
  • Word-of-mouth promotion: High quality of courses and services has gained good reputation
  • Invite celebrities to use and recommend
  • Targeted advertisements on TV, social media, etc.
  • High social responsibility (e.g. provide free English classes to 1,000 low-income rural schools and 50,000 students in China)


  • Expertise on high-end one-to-one online education
  • Technology enabling personalized learning and a connection between teachers and students across the world
  • Artificial intelligence and big data analytics
  • Novel applications of games, video, role swapping to stimulate learners



  • Influential financial and strategic stakeholders (e.g. Coatue Management, Tencent, Sequoia Capital and Yunfeng Capital)
  • Strategic partnerships (e.g., National Geographic Learning, TESOL, Lexile and 20+ educational institutions) to develop learning programs
  • Deep cooperation with Microsoft in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality and other advanced technologies
  • Copyright privileges with Oxford University Press, Bob Books, Collins, Teacher Created Materials etc.
  • High-quality, vetted, professional teachers
  • Global offices in Dallas, San Francisco, Texas etc., to provide support


  • Multichannel customer support – collect and respond to feedback quickly through social media, websites, and email
  • Courses are divided into units and charge per unit thereby allowing a wider range of income groups to attract more users
  • Apply artificial intelligence and big data analytics applied to increase intelligence and personalization of online teaching
  • Integration of outstanding educational resources globally
  • Attract and retain teachers through means such as working from home, flexible scheduling and competitive salaries
  • Continuously raise funds to develop and expand


  • Vision: To be the leader of global K12 education
  • Keep learning and create more opportunities to grow
  • Partnerships with high technology companies to improve artificial intelligence and data analytics to provide better courses and services
  • Increase cross-border operations (expand from China base)
  • Increase user base
  • Continuously develop new platforms and courses to meet market needs
  • Core value: Student at heart, fighting spirit at the core

Assertions That Best Describe What the Company Did to Scale Early, Rapidly & Securely

  1. Develop and sell products that address a problem, job to be done or a need that is shared by a large and growing number of individuals and organizations in various regions to increase sales
  2. Increase the company’s value by continuously seeking and receiving funding to support the company’s plan to scale and improve its image in the marketplace
  3. Sell online using a variety of online and offline promotional channels to increase the number of new customers and the retention rate of existing customers
  4. Enable users to participate in the rapid development of company products and services
  5. Increase sales by applying big-data analytics to produce information about users, suppliers and customers
  6. Increase value by using a compelling image of the desired future company to convince others to provide the funding and resources the company requires



  • Mengya Chen