芝加哥頭條

台湾唯一独角兽 TutorABC / 老约客谈

This large advertisement for TutorABC, with Yao Ming as the brand spokesperson, stands at Taichung High Speed ​​Rail Station. Baba’s lead investor, with Temasek and Qiming co-invested (Qiming invested US$15 million in the A round), this is Alibaba’s first investment in a Taiwanese internet company, and it marks Alibaba’s expansion from e-commerce, online finance and mobile applications to Big education market (Also, Ali also invested heavily in holding CITIC 21st Century, and entered the big health industry).

TutorGroup was founded in Taiwan in 1998. It is famous for its online teaching of English with real people. It realizes personalized interactive teaching with real people supported by big data with its patents such as DCGS dynamic course system, TutorMeet online learning system and LMS learning management system.

Tutor Group has four teaching platform brands:
– TutorABC focuses on the Taiwan market – VIPABC focuses on the
mainland market
– TutorABC Jr. for middle school students
– TutorMing focuses on Chinese teaching for foreigners.

TutorGroup chose Yao Ming as a global spokesperson because of Yao Ming’s popularity in the mainland and the United States. In addition to opening up the mainland market, it also hopes to open up the Chinese language learning market in the United States. But TutorMing’s Ming is not Yao Ming’s “Ming”. TutorGroup was founded by two Yang brothers, Jacky and Ming, and launched the TutorMing product as early as 2007.

The strategic points of Ali’s investment in TutorGroup:
– From “there is no difficult business in the world” to “there is no difficult English in the world”.
– Representing Ali from the e-commerce platform and industry chain of commodity trading, to virtual and service-based e-commerce, and it is also the first time to invest in the big education market.
– Alibaba has huge traffic on its e-commerce platform, and its merchants need to learn English. They can send potential users to TutorGroup and realize the traffic of Alibaba platform. TutorGroup’s educational user groups range from young people, professionals to management , can also help Alibaba diversify its customer base. Online transactions of goods and services are all based on cloud computing big data operations, and there is no essential difference.
– Use this investment to cross the Taiwan Strait and attract Taiwan’s Internet elites. It is said that the three micro-movies produced by TutorGroup are touching, incorporating learning scenarios and gentle implantation, and the gentle promotion model is very much appreciated by Ali.

In Taiwan’s “democracy” and blue-green confrontational political environment, TutorABC has recently raised suspicions about Chinese capital due to a trademark lawsuit.
Its Taiwan Mackey Company filed a lawsuit against “Air American Tutor4U” for infringement. The results of the first-instance lawsuit in early March were released. Taiwan’s intellectual property court ruled that “Tutor4U” lost the lawsuit and needed to compensate TutorABC NT 10 million. In addition to being dissatisfied, Air American Language will appeal. , and even pointed out that TutorABC is a mainland-funded enterprise, with huge funds to file lawsuits everywhere and bully local players.

TutorABC issued a statement on March 13, emphasizing that the company was established in Taiwan in 1998 and “is a company that started in Taiwan.” In 2009, TutorABC expanded its tentacles to the mainland. Since 2012, it has been favored by international investors one after another, attracting investment from world-class fund institutions, including Goldman Sachs Group, Singapore Government GIC and Temasek, Taiwan Yinling Capital, Japan Softbank SBI Group, Australian Government Fund QIC, etc. Alibaba Group is just one of them, not all.

On March 12 and 13, the pro-green media Liberty Times used the provocative headline “Local tutors help themselves to resist Chinese invasion”, emphasizing that TutorABC has a Chinese background, and also used the incident to incite anti-China and anti-China. The report mentioned:
– “After the Chinese-funded “TutorABC” company came to power in 2007, a series of trademark lawsuits were launched against the local English tutoring industry, and many tutoring schools with the word “Tutor” on their trademarks were sued. The Finance Court also ruled in favor of TutorABC. – ”
The intellectual property court rejected the certification of the Intellectual Property Bureau, and repeatedly favored TutorABC, becoming an accomplice for Chinese-funded enterprises to invade and devour the local English supplementary education market.

An entrepreneur needs to “pull the car and look up at the road”. Entrepreneurs exert their talents in the fields they are familiar with, organize teams, develop products, expand customers, etc. in order to achieve entrepreneurial goals, but in the process of starting a business, they must observe and master the changes in the external environment, and seek input from various resources, especially Entrepreneurs in Taiwan are entering a completely unfamiliar environment when they “break” across the sea. They need the participation, guidance and support of VCs and related partners who are familiar with the local environment. For Taiwanese companies like TutorABC, they have the opportunity to obtain strategic investment from giants such as BAT. They are definitely the best partners to expand their mainland business and global expansion.

Source: “China Unicorn Report: 2019”, Evergrande Research Institute, 2019/3/7

TutorABC should be the only unicorn from Taiwan. But on the CBinsights unicorn real-time list (https://www.cbinsights.com/research-unicorn-companies), it was not found. I think the definition of CBinsights is more rigorous, and companies that have been in business for more than 10 years are no longer included.

Evergrande Research Institute (Ren Zeping) released the “China Unicorn Report: 2019” on March 7 this year. For the shortlisted unicorns, in addition to following the international definition (valued at more than 1 billion US dollars, not yet listed), and using The establishment time is the dividing point, which is divided into generalized unicorns and narrowly defined unicorns. The generalized unicorns are not limited to the establishment time, and the narrowly defined need not exceed ten years. And VIPABC (Tutor Group’s business brand in mainland China) is listed among them, which belongs to a unicorn in a broad sense.

The market in Taiwan is too small, and the development of an enterprise must expand outward and become an international operating company. The so-called “internationalization” must also include the internationalization of customers, talents, brands, shareholders, boards of directors and various resources. TutorABC has The opportunity to obtain investment from Singapore, the United States, Japan and the mainland will help its international layout.

I went to visit TutorABC on June 26, 2008 and was hosted by Jacky, their office is at Section 2, Roosevelt Road, Taipei City. This meeting stemmed from the introduction of “Love Apartment”. My fund invested in “Love Apartment” in 2005. It also helped them in the process of developing from Taiwan to Shanghai, and TutorABC decided to develop across the sea in 2008. , so through the introduction of “Love Apartment”, I regarded TutorABC as a potential investment project, and we also exchanged the challenges of “re-starting a business” in the mainland.

TutorABC is a company founded by the Yang brothers in Taiwan. Nearly 10 years after its establishment, it only expanded its business across the sea and west to the mainland. Alibaba is a minority shareholder that only participated in the investment in 2014, and has not participated in the C round of 200 million in 2015. The dollar investment, the stake should have been diluted to a few points, and the company is still under the control of the founder.

Entrepreneurship is difficult, and entrepreneurs should have a fair environment free from political interference. The justice belongs to the judiciary, and the defendant’s rebuttal or counterclaim should be based on objective facts, and the media of the “uncrowned king” should not be happy to develop Taiwan’s mainland. Taiwan’s entrepreneurs are the only unicorn projects. To call it “Chinese-funded invading Taiwan”, “Chinese-funded enterprises invading doors”, etc., really ignores the facts and is too politically manipulated.

(Public number “Voyages talk about VC”, News Hotspot 22)
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Editor in charge: Li Lina Zhang Yi Graphics and
text layout: Binbin Pan Kun
Some pictures are from the Internet

 

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