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Making Freemium Work | EdTech Series 1 ft. China’s Top Learning App Zuoyebang

Season 2

Episode 27

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Interviewed by Hans Tung and Rita Yang.

Walking on the streets of any big cities in China now, you will notice that there almost seem to be a spending war between EdTech companies, who are buying up ads from giant outdoor billboards to tiny screens in elevators.

EdTech is a sector with a notoriously high CAC, that is customer acquisition cost. Unless you have built a free tool that is so successful and widely adopted, that people are open to try whatever you put in front of them. This is exactly how China’s top learning app, Zuoyebang (作业帮), literal translation for that is “homework help”, managed to grow from a free photo search app to China’s largest K12 online education platform with 20 million transacting users.

For the first episode of our special EdTech series, you will be hearing from the founder of Zuoyebang Hou Jianbin, whose personal belief about education significantly shaped the way he built this company. Born and raised in a small town in China, He was a straight A student and has his life completely changed by the national college entrance exam. Got into China’s top university and a job offer from China’s search engine giant Baidu, where he built the product that eventually became one of the world’s most valued EdTech startups. Zuoyebang was spun off from Baidu in 2015.

For the second part of this episode, you will also be hearing from GGV managing partner Jenny Lee. Jenny led GGV’s investment into Zuoyebang in 2016. She shared what made Zuoyebang stand out among all the photo search apps that were out there, and what keeps Zuoyebang competitive as Covid-19 pushed a lot of new capital flowing into the market.

For the full transcript of the show, go to nextbn.ggvc.com
Join our listeners’ community, go to nextbn.ggvc.com/engage

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