The digital education services provider was valued at $3.4bn in a Prosus-led round which included fellow corporates Tencent, Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank.

Austria-based online tutoring services provider GoStudent has closed a $340m series D round led by internet group Prosus at a $3.4bn valuation, Forbes reported yesterday, signalling unwavering interest in the education technology space.

Internet and gaming group Tencent took part in the round, as did telecommunications firms Deutsche Telekom and SoftBank, the latter through its Vision Fund 2, while Dragoneer, Left Lane Capital and Coatue Management filled out the participants.

Founded in 2016, GoStudent has built a one-on-one video lesson marketplace focusing on mathematics, physics and English for young learners. It said it has signed up 15,000 tutors across 20 countries, and provided about 1.5 million classes in the past year.

GoStudent chief executive Felix Ohswald and fellow founder Gregor Müller told Forbes they intend to use the funding to expand its services in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Ohswald identified word-of-mouth tutors as major competition but is confident the company’s platform can offer more value, explaining: “I think there is a huge opportunity to bring online one-on-one teaching and group classes to American households for an affordable price.

“Our aim is to break up that shadow market by giving you the same, or similar cost, but giving you higher quality assurance.”

In addition to English, maths and science, Ohswald said preparation for standardised tests such as university entrance exam SAT would be target areas in the US market as well as facultative courses including computer programming.

GoStudent will not however be expanding into India, where local peers like Byju’s and Unacademy already have a long-established presence. The latter was valued at over $3.4bn when it closed a $440m series H round in August 2021.

Byju’s on the other hand is valued at $21bn and is seeking to raise $4bn at a $45bn valuation, TechCrunch reported last month, citing a source familiar with the matter. It also plans to float in the US through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company run by Churchill Capital.

Neither is China among the company’s target markets, as edtech groups concentrating on school curricula, such as the New York-listed Gaotu Techedu, New Oriental Education & Technology Group and TAL Education, have been banned from making profits, raising funding or going public, as part of Chinese regulatory reform initiated in late 2020.

GoStudent had acquired Fox Education Services, which provides school-related social management apps SchoolFox, KidsFox and TeamFox, in September 2021. It intends to continue purchasing children’s education services and content producers in a bid to combine its tutoring services with those offerings.

SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Tencent, Coatue, Dragoneer, Left Lane Capital had already backed a $244m series C round for GoStudent in June 2021 valuing it at $1.7bn. DST Global led that round, which included DN Capital and which boosted the total raised by the company to $346m.

Image courtesy of GoStudent GmbH.