Kaizen Private Equity(Kaizen PE), the very fund manager dedicated to education companies in Asia, has announced a $10-million investment in YOLA, a Vietnam’s education provider that takes on both traditional and online teaching techniques.
Kaizen PE’s funding is the second round of capital that YOLA has successfully raised. In 2016, Vietnam-focused fund manager Mekong Capital injected $4.9 million into the company.
Sandeep Aneja, founder and managing partner of Kaizen PE, expects Vietnam education sector to continue growing strongly over the next five years and said that the company is delighted to have Yola as its first investment in the country.
“We are impressed by the importance of education in Vietnamese culture, and the outstanding results that Vietnam has obtained in terms of school attendance, completion and student achievement,” he stated.
Factors differentiating YOLA from other providers in the market, according to Kaizen, are its online content platform to deliver a blended learning experience to students and its focus on academic English with well-researched knowledge-based curriculum taught by competent foreign and Vietnamese teachers.
“We are excited to join forces with YOLA and with Mekong Capital to provide a strong English language foundation for more Vietnamese students, enable them to reach their full potential and to prepare them for global success,” he added.
Pham Anh Khoa, co-founder and CEO of YOLA, said that within the past 10 years, Yola has empowered thousands of students in Vietnam to unlock their full potential, allowing them to realise their dreams and to positively contribute to the local community.
“By partnering with Kaizen Private Equity, one of Asia’s most active education investors, Yola gains a partner whose vision of educational and social impact is aligned with ours, and we are excited work together to continue to deliver on our mission of educating 500,000 students,” he noted.
With the mission of “Changing lives through education”, YOLA promises to optimise and unlock the full potential of its students through a solid foundation of education.
Through a network of 14 campuses in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, YOLA has successfully trained more than 30,000 students. YOLA’s alumni have been admitted to over 200 top universities in the US, Australia and the UK.
Kaizen’s education portfolio currently consists of Ace Creative Learning, EduPristine, Get Ahead, Impartus Innovations, Insofe, K-12, Altus Learning PVT. Ltd., Klay, Toppr, Varthana, WizIQ and YKROK.
Recognising the potential of the education market in Southeast Asia from the early state, Kaizen wrote in its Education Report for Southeast Asia in 2012 that the regional education market is rather attractive for private investments.
“With a growing middle class population, shortage of skilled labor, increase in number of students studying aboard and favorable regulatory environment, these countries [Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand] have the right enablers to attract private investments.”
For Vietnam in particular, the country has encouraged private education by allowing unrestricted FDI in private education institutions. In addition, there is no foreign ownership limit at these education providers.