Banyan Capital, a Chinese venture capital firm focused on investment in early-stage telecom, media and technology start-ups, has led a series A round worth tens of million of U.S. dollars in Lizhiweike, a Shenzhen-based online education mobile app.
Chinese venture firm GSR Ventures also participated in the round, according to a company announcement.
Founded in 2016, Lizhiweike offers paid online courses in a number of fields including foreign languages, health, careers, education and emotional relationships.
The platform currently has over 800,000 registered individual teachers and education institutions, and has accumulated over seven million followers on its official WeChat account. With almost 70% of its audience being adult women, Lizhiweike’s vision to become the the largest paid content platform in China.
Paid content, otherwise known as the knowledge economy, has become a major investment trend over the past couple of years, with a number of start-ups securing venture funding.
In 2015, CMC Capital and Qiming Venture Partners invested in knowledge sharing talk show Luogical Thinking, also known as Luoji Siwei. Last year, Tencent Holdings Ltd., Sequoia Capital, Vision Plus Capital and others invested around RMB200 million (US$29 million) in Chinese knowledge sharing platforms Zaihang and Fenda.
In January this year, Trustbridge Partners led a RMB160 million (US$23 million) series A funding round in Shanghai Bajiulin, a finance and business focused knowledge sharing start-up founded by well-known Chinese financial writer Wu Xiaobo.