VIPKid has raised $125 million and signed up 50,000 kids to study English, math and science online.
Cindy Mi leans forward on a couch in her sun-filled Beijing office to explain how she first got interested in education. She loved English so much as a child that she spent her lunch money on books and magazines to practice. By 15, she was good enough that she began to tutor other students. At 17, she dropped out of high school to start a language-instruction company with her uncle.
Today, Mi is 33 and founder of a startup that aims to give Chinese kids the kind of education American children receive in top U.S. schools. CalledVIPKid, the company matches Chinese students aged five to 12 with predominantly North American instructors to study English, math, science and other subjects. Classes take place online, typically for two or three 25-minute sessions each week.