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The agricultural education platform “TianTianXuenong (天天学农，”learn agriculture every day” in Chinese)” has completed tens of millions of RMB Series A, led by Chang Ce Investment, while former investor MatrixPartners China continues to raise its stakes on the company. The funds will be used to build a team of professional copywriters, continue contracts with agricultural experts and invest in other diversified markets.
China’s agricultural indicators have been declining over the years. In the first half of this year, the output of summer grain, dairy products, and fresh/refrigerated meat fell by 2.2% to 11.3%. In the past 15 years, the average cost per mu of China’s major agricultural products is 56% to 220% higher than that of the United States. Factors of such inefficiency include insufficient domestic agricultural production planting plans, uneven field management levels, and low level of automation.
TianTianXueNong is aiming to solve this problem by providing agricultural knowledge subscriptions, to help farmers to improve their production skills and increase production, quality and profit.
They have explored and signed a large number of IP in the agricultural field, including agricultural colleges, research institutes, plant protection station agricultural technicians, first-line planters, etc., and cooperated in research and development of agricultural knowledge and skills service courses such as variety selection, field management, pest control, water and fertilizer management.
Farmers can learn free or paid courses through the app, WeChat mini program and public page on WeChat. The course is mainly in video format. Each course is divided into 10 minutes according to the knowledge points, which is convenient for farmers to use the time to learn.
According to the latest official data, there are 500,000 cumulative service users per day, mainly agricultural growers, with a pay rate of over 20%, monthly users exceeding 50%, and a completion rate of 87%. There are more than 500 agriculture experts who signed the contract with TianTianXueNong and there more than 1000 courses available.
Important upgrades: content and channels
In terms of content and channels, TianTianXueNong has recently made important upgrades.
In terms of content, the main focus is now on agricultural technology, especially on pre-production and mid-production farming. Subsequently, TianTianNongXue will be release courses through their “Agricultural Technology College” and “Agricultural Business School”, and continue to enrich the curriculum content, expand its reach and increase numbers such as average revenue per user (ARPU).
In the Agricultural Technology College, the platform will replicate the success of the Citrus series programme and expand into 10 categories, including grapes, kiwi, mango, dragon fruit, bananas, etc., to provide farmers with more agricultural knowledge and services. In addition, the platform will also cooperate with “Tianxiang Airlines”, a plant protection drone company, to carry out agricultural machinery training courses.
The Agricultural Business School is a new service that includes branding of agricultural products, marketing of agricultural products, knowledge of agricultural creation, etc., which will bring users knowledge services in the post-natal period and enhance farmers’ soft skills.
In terms of content production partners, TianTianXueNong has cooperated with Chinese online supermarket Mei Ri You Xian (每日优鲜), trusted beverage company Nongfu Spring (农夫山泉), fruit chain store Baiguoyuan (百果园) and online marketplace for agricultural products NongYou 100 (农优一百), to develop new courses.
Gaining traction from a market of 300 million farmers by course subscription
Pay by subscription is already a red ocean in the first- and second-tier cities and competition is fierce. However, the farmers in lower-tier cities lack access to high-quality knowledge. Gaining agricultural knowledge will help farmers to increase their income, in turn, increase their willingness to pay for agricultural courses.
Objectively, the popularity of smartphones, 4G networks, and WeChat payment in the agricultural community have also laid a foundation for paying for online agricultural knowledge. Furthermore, the market for agriculture is huge. It is understood that China has 260 million farmers, and hence has high market potential.
The course subscription model has also been recognized by the investors. TianTianXueNong was established in August 2017 and has completed three rounds of funding in less than one year, and their development is very rapid.
For this round of investment, Peng Guoti from Chang Ce Investment said:
In recent years, China has vigorously encouraged professional training for modern farmers. Farmers have strong demands for high-quality agricultural knowledge. TianTianXueNong’s business model is a testimony to the market potential that the villagers have to offer.
KrASIA’s parent 36Kr observed that with the introduction of the land transfer policy and the development of agricultural science and technology, large-scale agricultural businesses are expanding. Under the trend of agricultural intelligence, automation and large-scale farming, will this affect the demand for paid agricultural education?
In response to this question, Tan Zexin, founding partner of TianTianXueNong, believes that China’s agricultural characteristics should be differentiated by region. In northern China, there are more plains, suitable for standardized and large-scale agricultural production, while southern China is dominated by mountainous hills and terrain, and will be mainly managed by households. The trend is to plant high-value crops, and there will be increased demand for knowledge in new planting techniques and know-how to operate the business.
With more farmers subscribing to the platform, TianTianXueNong will explore other areas such as online consultation.
It is reported that TianTianXueNong will open a new round of financing in the near future.