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Yuanfudao’s platform offers live courses and provides tutoring options for students. The company, which is based in Beijing, was founded in 2012.

The funding comes as edtech–and the need for edtech–draws more attention. With the COVID-19 pandemic driving much of learning online, the space has drawn increased interest from those in the education community and investors. Yuanfudao is a major player in edtech in China, and will be an official sponsor of the Winter 2022 Olympics in Beijing.

About 3.7 million students use Yuanfudao’s regular-priced courses, according to the company, and it has teaching and research centers across China. 

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Today, a startup out of Dublin called LearnUpon, which has been building e-learning solutions not for schools but corporates to use for development and training, has raised $56 million to feed a growth in demand for its tools, particularly in the U.S. market, which currently accounts for 70% of LearnUpon’s sales.

LearnUpon already has some 1,000 customers globally, including Booking.com, Twilio, USA Football and Zendesk. And notably, eight-year-old LearnUpon was profitable and had only raised $1.5 million before now.

Corporate learning has followed similar but not identical trajectory to that of online education for K-12 and higher learning. In common, especially in the last 8 months. has been a growing need to engage and connect with learners at a time when it’s been challenging, or in some cases impossible, to see each other in person.

What’s different is that corporate learning was already a very established market, with organizations widely investing in online tools to manage training and personal development for years before any pandemic necessitated it.

Areas like employee onboarding, personnel development, customer training, training on new products, partner training, sales development, compliance, and building training services that you then sell to third parties are all areas that count as corporate learning. One researcher estimated that the corporate learning market was valued at an eye-watering $64 billion in 2019, with LMS investments alone at over $9 billion that year, and both are growing.

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98point6, an on-demand digital primary care service that delivers personalized consultation, diagnosis and treatment to patients across the country, today announced a $118 million Series E fundraising round to further support its growth and success. The text-based primary care platform now has more than 240 commercial partnerships-accounting for three million members-with prominent brands including Banner|Aetna, Boeing, Circle K, Red Bull North America, Sam's Club, and Teamsters Western Region and New Jersey Health Care Fund.

The round was led by the Growth Fund of L Catterton, the largest and most global consumer-focused private equity firm, and Activant Capital, the global growth equity investment firm highly focused on technologies disrupting legacy industries. Additional funding came from new and returning investors, including Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division. This latest round allows 98point6 to further invest in research and development and expand its robust medical practice as employers, health plans and retail partners increasingly view exceptional remote care as an essential component of their offerings.

Founded in 2015, 98point6 is pioneering a new approach to primary care. By pairing AI and machine learning with board-certified physicians, our vision is to make primary care more accessible and affordable, leading to better health. We meet consumers where they are by offering private, text-based diagnosis and treatment via a mobile app. For employers, health plans and retail partners, 98point6 increases primary care utilization among those not actively or appropriately engaged in their health-enabling earlier medical intervention and reducing overall cost of care. For more information about 98point6, visit www.98point6.com

GoPuff, a delivery startup with apps and a desktop site focused on convenience store goods, raised $380 million to support its expansion and product selection, and to expand its executive team. The funding round led by Accel and D1 Capital Partners, with the participation of Luxor Capital and SoftBank Vision Fund, values the company at $3.9 billion, per an announcement.

GoPuff's latest fundraising round and expansion of its executive team are a sign that the delivery service has big goals as a distribution channel for marketers of products typically found in convenience stores, such as snacks, beverages and over-the-counter medication that people sometimes buy impulsively or want quickly. GoPuff, which started in Philadelphia in 2013 as an on-demand hookah delivery service before expanding its product selection, has tended to focus on providing late-night delivery service in college towns where students keep irregular hours. With many colleges and other communities enforcing strict social distancing guidelines during the pandemic, GoPuff's delivery services are well-suited for customers who are avoiding stores or are limiting in-person contact with others.

The fundraising round bodes well for GoPuff as the startup seeks to expand into more markets, build out its selection and hire more seasoned management. By naming Wong as chief customer officer, GoPuff is gaining an experienced marketing executive from Lowe's, which has developed a variety of marketing programs to connect with customers among sales channels that include mobile.

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Spendesk, the spend management platform for SMBs has today announced it has raised $18 million in addition to its Series B round last year ($38 million).

The new investment comes from global VC fund Eight Roads Ventures and brings the total raised to $68.5 million. This funding will support the strong growth Spendesk has realised despite the current pandemic, which has accelerated digitisation of finance departments and increased the demand for spend management solutions.

Spendesk offers an all-in-one spend management solution that delivers more visibility and automation to today’s finance teams. The platform combines spend approvals, virtual and physical cards for employees, expense reimbursements and invoice management into one source of truth.

The startup has maintained strong growth throughout the disruption caused by COVID-19 with subscription revenue doubling year-on-year, demonstrating the mission critical nature of the tool, and resilience of the business model.

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The pandemic has accelerated ecommerce growth in the US with online sales reaching a level not previously expected until 2022.

US ecommerce sales will reach $794.50 billion this year, up 32.4% year-over-year. That’s a much higher growth rate than the 18.0% predicted in our Q2 forecast, as consumers continue to avoid stores and opt for online shopping amid the pandemic.

“We’ve seen ecommerce accelerate in ways that didn’t seem possible last spring, given the extent of the economic crisis,” said Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. “While much of the shift has been led by essential categories like grocery, there has been surprising strength in discretionary categories like consumer electronics and home furnishings that benefited from pandemic-driven lifestyle needs.”

Ecommerce sales will reach 14.4% of all US retail spending this year and 19.2% by 2024. When excluding gas and auto sales (categories sold almost exclusively offline), ecommerce penetration jumps to 20.6%.

“There will be some lasting impacts from the pandemic that will fundamentally change how people shop,” said Cindy Liu, eMarketer senior forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence.

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Digital wealth manager Nutmeg recorded losses of £21m last year as it struggled to break even for the eighth year in a row.

This comes even as total assets under management grew 41 per cent year-on-year. Nutmeg said it had “significantly out performed” the wider sector, which grew assets by 13 per cent over the same period.

While it is the eighth consecutive year the robo-adviser has made a loss, Nutmeg’s turnover improved from £7.1m to £9.2m in 2019.

Chief executive Neil Alexander said Nutmeg’s trading loss reflected the fact the wealth manager had continued to invest in the growth of the business.

Despite an increase in competition, Nutmeg remains the leading digital wealth manager in the UK with a 36 per cent share of the market. It has also grown to become the UK’s fifth largest wealth manager.

This year Nutmeg said it became the first wealth manager to offer customers the ability to top up their investments using Google Pay and Apple Pay.

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Root filed to go public earlier this week and is targeting a $6bn valuation, according to TechCrunch.

While Lemonade focuses on property and casualty insurance, Root is more at home in the auto and rental insurance space. The first one has been identified as its biggest revenue stream whereas the rental segment of the company is a relatively new addition to the company’s offering, according to the filings.

Root’s solution will sound familiar to those in the industry. It is leveraging artificial intelligence and the internet of things to track users’ driving behaviours. The data is then used to give customers an insurance policy that is more reflective of their driving style.

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Remote Work Accelerates Adoption of Online Learning and Skilljar Growth.

 Insight Partners led the funding round with participation from existing investors Mayfield, Trilogy Equity Partners, and Shasta Ventures. Skilljar will use the new funding to expand its team, fuel go-to-market programs, and accelerate product development.

“The community of learners engaging with products and services through virtual channels has grown exponentially in the New World of Work that we’re currently experiencing. This is a persistent trend that’s changing how companies interact with their customers and partners,” said Skilljar CEO and Co-founder, Sandi Lin. “Businesses are increasingly viewing Customer and Partner Education as a highly scalable driver of product adoption, customer retention, and revenue generation. Skilljar’s growth is a testament to the relevance of our mission and we’re excited to continue helping organizations, individuals, and society transform innovation into impact through education."

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Led by Amir Nathoo, Co-founder and CEO, Outschool is an online marketplace of live, interactive classes that connect teachers and learners over real-time video in a small-group setting. Its offerings are created by independent teachers and include a wide variety of enrichment classes such as cooking, piano and language lessons as well as academic classes such as grammar bootcamps and geometry. Outschool classes are engaging and diverse with classes like: surviving a Zombie Apocalypse During the American Colonial Period, Ready, Set, Bake: Tasty Cupcakes, STEM Design: Build a Satellite, Grammar Detectives in the Rainforest, Bring Your Chickens to Class, and A Taste of Fashion Design .

Classes on Outschool range from one-time enrichment lessons to semester-long core courses, are offered across all subjects, and for learners range from age 3 to 18. 

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