Beijing-based VIPKid is giving American teachers an income boost from halfway around the world. Under cofounder and CEO Cindy Mi, the online learning company contracts with more than 60,000 North American instructors and matches them with some 500,000 primarily Chinese pupils (from pre-K to 12th grade) for one-on-one video sessions in English—along with a growing stable of other subjects. In 2018, VIPKid more than doubled its number of students from 2017. Students follow up live video lessons with online learning. Approximately 5% of teachers who apply are accepted. Educators rave on Facebook and YouTube about the ability to teach classes from anywhere (and to typically make about $20 an hour, usually in the time before or after school). Parents seem to share their enthusiasm: The platform has a 95% student-retention rate.
In 2018, VIPKid has expanded its learning marketplace. It partnered with 11 educational institutions, such as Oxford University Press and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, to develop four new curricula to serve preK-12 students. The company's original offering has been on preK through fourth-grade students. VIPKid has grown to serve 63 countries in 2018 versus just 32 the year earlier. It intends to be available in 100 countries in three years.
In 2017, VIPKid’s 25-minute-long classes were forecasted to bring in $760 million in revenue—up from $300 million the previous year.