Warburg-Backed Chinese Online Tutoring Startup Weighs U.S. IPO

Zhangmen, a Warburg Pincus-backed Chinese online tutoring platform, is considering a U.S. initial public offering that could raise about $300 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Shanghai-based company has held discussions with potential advisers on the share sale, which could take place as soon as next year, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the information is private.

Deliberations are at an early stage and details of the offering including its size and timeline could still change, the people said. A representative for Zhangmen didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Zhangmen, which means leader or master in Chinese, was founded in 2005 with an initial focus on afterschool tutoring in classrooms. In 2014, the company shifted its business model to online one-on-one tutoring for students from elementary schools to high schools, according to its website. The firm has more than 60 million registered members.

The startup has completed at least five funding rounds since 2015 and counts Shunwei Capital, a fund co-founded by Xiaomi Corp. Chairman Lei Jun, and Warbug Pincus among its investors. Last year, Zhangmen raised about $350 million in a series E funding round led by investors including CMC Capital and a unit of China Investment Corp. A venture capital fund backed by Chinese movie stars Li Bingbing and Zhang Ziyi also participated in another fundraising.

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