A Chinese ed tech backed by Alibaba has reportedly hired a senior executive from a Nasdaq-listed company as its chief financial officer in preparation for an initial public offering, Bloomberg has reported.

Zuoyebang, which in September raised $750 million at a $6.5 billion valuation, has poached Bing Jin from Joyy inc, a live-streaming firm.

Bloomberg reported, citing anonymous sources, that Jin will marshal Zuoyebang through its potential stock market debut.

Zuoyebang was drawn to Jin’s experience in US capital market, the report stated, noting that “changes to the hiring could still occur as Jin hasn’t formally left Joyy yet”.

Zuoyebang and Jin reportedly declined to comment on the hiring and IPO plans.

Zuoyebang is best known for its problem-solving app, by which students can upload pictures of problems, such as equations, and have them solved through artificial intelligence.

The company, which reportedly targets K12 students enrolled in China’s compulsory education system, has 170 million active monthly users, some 50 million of whom use the app every day. More than 12 million of these users are paid subscribers.

For context, around 200 million K12 students were enrolled in Chinese schools in 2019.

Date published: 24 March 2021

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