Tencent to Invest in Online Education Startup Udemy at Over $3 Billion Valuation

November 19, 2020 5:44 am

Beijing (PingWest)—Chinese technology company Tencent is a lead investor in a funding round that valued the online education startup Udemy at more than $3 billion, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Investors were also told by Udemy that the company could pursue an initial public offering next year, said the people.

Udemy said Wednesday that it has raised $50 million in a round valuing the company at $3.25 billion before the new investments. The San Francisco-based company named Learn Capital as one of the firms participating in the round.

It didn’t disclose whether Tencent was an investor and it’s unclear how much Tencent contributed.

Tencent’s largest investors include Naspers Ltd., the South African parent company of Prosus NV, which is also an Udemy backer. Udemy was valued at $2 billion in a funding round earlier this year. 

Covid-19 has greatly promoted Udemy's business. Udemy CEO Gregg Coccari said the pandemic has “achieved five years of growth in five months” for Udemy’s consumer business. He said that the corporate business serving large companies has also increased this year.

Beyond gaming and social networks, Tencent has been increasing its bets on online education. The gaming giant not only operates its own e-learning platform, but also invested in multiple after-school tutoring startups, including VIPKid, Yuanfudao. The Chinese tech giant participated in at least three rounds of financing of Yuanfudao, a company valued at $15.5 billion.