HEDLINE: Science Community Guokr raises $20 million Series C

TAL Education Group, a Chinese K-12 after-school tutoring provider, led a $20 million Series C round in the online science community Guokr. TAL Education led the round, investing $15 million, the remaining $5 million came from existing investors IDG and others.

Guokr is an online community for people interested in science and technology where they can share and discuss articles written by scientists, the Guokr staff or community members. Guokr claims to have 25 million visitors per month on its web portal and related mobile apps.

In 2013 Guokr launched a MOOC platform and partnered with Coursera to translate and promote the courses to its user base. The Guokr MOOC platform currently has over 800.000 registered users. With the new investment Guokr plans to bring more courses from overseas providers to its MOOC portal. Other MOOC platforms in China include XuetangX which is based on edX and Kaikeba.

The company is also expanding into other verticals. Guokr has published a series of books covering science, science-fiction and children books, launched a maternal and baby health app and an air purifier.

TAL Education Group is currently one of the most active edtech investors coming out of China. Besides investments in Chinese edtech startups TAL participated in LTG Exam Prep Platform’s $3 million Series A in August, and in Minerva Project’s $70 million Series B in October.

Commenting on the investment, TAL’s co-founder Yachao Liu states

“Through Guokr we can also extend our reach to a complementary customer base, the mostly college-based technology enthusiasts. This extension will solidify Guokr and our common ground in building a social community through MOOC-based science and technology content for young demographics. In addition, we will leverage the Guokr MOOC platform to connect with world class education resources, which is consistent with our recent investment in the Minerva Project, a revolutionary new provider of undergraduate education in the US, as well as our angel investment in Sharkpark, a science education company. Our investment in Guokr is therefore an outstanding opportunity to share our vision and align our interests in building new education models for the future and incorporating self-education on Internet and mobile Internet.”

Further Reading

  • TAL Education Group Takes Strategic Stake in Guokr | PR Newswire
  • Science Networking Service Guokr Secures US$20M Series C Funding Led by TAL Group | TechNode
  • Coursera partner in China secures $20M funding to make more MOOCs | Tech in Asia


Kay Alexander is the co-founder and creative director of EDUKWEST. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+