The balancing act of maintaining a high quality online teaching platform with meteoric global growth is a constant battle for the CEO and founder of Chinese unicorn, VIPKid.
VIPKid is a Beijing-based education technology company aimed at China’s tens of millions of students. The company connects Chinese pupils with fluent English-speaking tutors in the United States and Canada.
Founded in 2013, the company is currently valued by investors at more than $3 billion.
Speaking at CNBC’s East Tech West conference in the Nansha district of Guangzhou, China on Wednesday, VIPKid’s Cindy Mi said: “The limit is, as a platform, how we can maintain the highest quality possible where we are undergoing this rapid growth (and) how we can stay focused on quality and learning efficacy when we are learning with so many teachers.”
The education start-up has more than 500,000 students and over 60,000 teachers on the platform, Mi said Wednesday. That’s almost double the company had reported the year previous and a massive leap from the just over 3,000 students it reported in 2015.
The company’s rapid growth makes it one of the fastest growing start-ups not only in the country’s fiercely competitive education technology sector — but in all of China.
VIPKid’s Mi said the company hoped to fully embrace a wide range of technologies to improve the learning experience for all the students on its platform.
“For augmented reality, if the students want to talk about the dinosaur then instead of a plain picture we can work with content providers like National Geographic learning and then instead they have all this vivid, visceral space we can turn into a lively dinosaur that can interact with the students,” she told CNBC’s Everett Rosenfeld.
“Also we have this virtual sticker for the classrooms, teachers can turn herself into a princess or a superhero and then the students are so enjoying the class. And then for virtual reality, we have the museum tours where our teachers can make videos to show students what their hometown used to look like,” Mi said.