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Financials

Chinese online tutor Zuoyebang raises more than $1.6 bln

HONG KONG, Dec 28 (Reuters) - Chinese online tutor Zuoyebang has raised more than $1.6 billion in a new funding round from investors including Alibaba Group and SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the company said on Monday.

Existing investors Tiger Global, Sequoia Capital China and FountainVest Partners have also participated, Zuoyebang said in a news statement, without disclosing its valuation in the round.

In September Reuters reported the new round would value the company at $10 billion.

After the fundraising, Zuoyebang will keep up its focus on classes from kindergarten to grade 12, and double down on education and technology investments to strengthen competitiveness, the statement quoted founder and Chief Executive Hou Jianbin as saying.

Founded in 2015, Zuoyebang says it is China’s biggest online education company, with more than 50 million daily active users and more than 170 million monthly active users.

In June, the company, which is also backed by Chinese search firm Baidu Inc, said it raised $750 million in a financing round led by investment firms FountainVest and Tiger Global.

That round valued the startup at $6.5 billion prior to the funds flowing in. (Reporting by Kane Wu; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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