Blue Elephant Capital is China’s pure-play education and edtech investor. Founded in 2015, we have raised four funds from 50+ executive-level education industry LPs, and completed seed round and follow-on investment in 85 edtech companies. As much as 95% of our portfolio companies are still in operation. The book return of the first fund is more than 10x.
The Blue Elephant Camp is the 3-month intensive accelerating program for new portfolio companies. It is our vision to empower education entrepreneurs and impact a billion people worldwide.
There're a lot of similarities between education companies and elephants.
Genes for giants. Elephant is among the largest mammals on earth. Education is a massive market that could give birth to great companies of massive sizes
Born to last. Elephants' pregnancy takes long, and they also live long. Great education companies often grow steady and slow, and they are built to last.
Thrive in ecosystem. Elephants are gregarious animals. Education startups thrive together by attracting more talents and resources into education industry, and by learning from each other
Blue is Tech. Blue Elephants are of a new species. The education startups of the future are tech-savvy. They employ the most advanced technologies to extend the frontier and imagination of education.
Blue Elephant believed in the prospect of education industry in China because:
(1) Chinese families have ubiquitous demand for better education, generating an enormous market unseen in any other part of the world.
(2) Internet and other technologies transformed the education industry in China with unprecedented efficiency, driving it to the leading position globally.
(3) The education industry in China is still booming. Compared to industries like Health and TMT, it has considerably low capitalization rate.
Blue Elephant believes that the education industry can breed a large number of "invisible champions" with a market value of 1 billion RMB or even 1 billion US dollars in subdivided racetracks, which we call "Blue Ocean Leaders".
However, entrepreneurs of these education startups need know-hows and resources in the early stage, which is easily ignored by traditional investors.
Blue Elephant is famous for its know-hows in operation and management and resources in the education industry, and is committed to becoming not only the investor, but the partner of education companies. Therefore, Blue Elephant is affectionately called "corporate partner" by our portfolio companies.
Early-stage investment is a probability behavior. Through standardized investment products, we can guarantee the number of investments as well as the investment return. Therefore, Blue Elephant's valuation for early-stage companies is 10 million RMB, with an investment of either 3% or 8% based on the situation of the startups.
YC (Y Combinator), a well-known Silicon Valley angel investment institution and the pioneer of this investment strategy, has achieved investment performance comparable to top capital such as Sequoia, Benchmark and A16Z in the past 13 years. Over the years, YC invested and accelerated more than 1,900 start-ups with a total valuation of more than 100 billion US dollars, including unicorns such as Airbnb and Dropbox.
Blue Elephant has proved the feasibility of standardized investment through its investment performance.
A company's valuation is positively related with capacity of its founders, which can be effectively improved by post-investment service.
The problems faced by early education entrepreneurs are mostly similar. Common problems such as entrepreneurial mentality, team-building skills, user acquisition, product design, market entry, financing, etc. can be acquired quickly through social learning among entrepreneurs.
The period of close interaction between Blue Elephant and the projects is at least 6 months: 2 months of investment, 3 months of Blue Elephant Camp and 1 month of refinancing. During this period, founders of new portfolio companies are integrated into the Blue Elephant network through group workshops, private board meetings, and many other occassions.
Blue Elephant believes that the best learning takes place in a well-connected information network.
The value of Blue Elephant is to effectively improve a founder's capacity within 6 months through our post-investment service product.
Blue Elephant's 85 portfolio companies, 50+ LPs and strategic partners has formed a BE Ecosystem that gathers invaluable know-hows and industry resources.
In the format of BE Camp, we are able to leverage the value of BE Ecosystem to provide in-depth post-investment services.
The BE Camp solves difference problems faced by early-stage entrepreneurs through group workshops, private board meetings, enterprise visits, Demo Day and many other occasions. Blue Elephant's LPs, advisors and portfolio companies contribute to the post-investment service, and even participate in the refinancing of the companies in each Blue Elephant Camp, laying a foundation of mutual trust for closer strategic cooperation.
Blue Elephant has also invested time and energy to keep involving more industry resources.
1. Blue Elephant is an important strategic partner for education investors
Blue Elephant's unique position in the field of early-stage edtech investment determines Blue Elephant's partnership with other education investors. Blue Elephant's biannually Demo Day covers almost all mainstream ventures in the education industry.
2. Blue Elephant is an important capital partner of scientific and technological media and educational media.
Blue Elephant is also an important channel for government departments, technology companies, financial companies and education companies to understand the education industry.
3. Blue Elephant is an important hub for overseas resources and overseas returnee entrepreneurs to enter China.
Blue Elephant has visited the United States, Britain, Finland, Russia, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Qatar, Australia and New Zealand to inspect local education industries and make solid connections. Blue elephants also have a considerable proportion of LPs, portfolio companies and team members that have overseas educational backgrounds and overseas resources, as well as deep understanding of the pain points and solutions of overseas returnee entrepreneurs.
4. Blue Elephant is the "Huangpu Military Academy" of education venture capital where young people start their career in the related industries.
Blue Elephant Alumni are spread all over educational research institutions, ed-tech and internet companies, financial companies and famous universities worldwide.
The investment return of Blue Elephant Capital is positively related to the investment return of the entire education industry.
Therefore, Blue Elephant wishes to boost the investment return of the education industry, by means of sharing our observations and experiences. It's Blue Elephant's mission to attract more competent entrepreneurs into eduation industry, match them with the promising tracks, and bring real benefits to the consumers.