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YueDuQiYuan (悦读奇缘) is a children’s reading service platform that operates both an offline picture book library and the online book sharing platform. 36Kr, KrASIA’s parent, has previously reported “iBoNiao”, another children’s picture book rental platform that provides online book sharing to allow children to read widely and less costly.
Providing both online and offline is one of the core competitive advantages of YueDuQiYuan. YueDuQiYuan saw that new generation of young parents prefers to use “storytelling” to educate their children. Hence, they have developed their own content and service to meet the demands of their customers.
Wang Huizhen mentioned that the main reason for doing offline is that picture book rental is essentially for children. It requires a strong brand image to compete for mindshare among parents.
The library is not just a reading space. Every hour, the librarian will recite books in an interactive way to children. According to the data provided by the company, there is an average of 50~60 families visiting every day.
The entry is between 100 yuan and 150 yuan. Other than storytelling, there is also a variety of children’s activities. The team has already opened two libraries in the CBD of Beijing and it’s popular art district ‘798’.
Research had shown that there is more space allocated for children products in shopping centres (from 9.161 million square meters to 13.218 million square meters between 2015 and 2017). The future plans for the company are to set up more branches to create brand awareness and continue to provide a better library experience.
Children library is not a new concept. In the past, libraries face high rental and book maintenance costs, and it is not easy to scale the business. Hence, YueDuQiYuan has developed an online book sharing platform to make the business more scalable and at the same time make reading more affordable and accessible to children.
YueDuQiYuan online membership is RMB 1280/year where users can rent an unlimited number of picture books, renting up to 10 books in a single order.
According to the data provided by the team, there are currently more than 10,000 registered members and 3,000 paid members. On average, each member rent 2 times a month.
To maintain online traction, it is very crucial to always update book inventory via partnerships with popular book publishers and buying niche books and children encyclopedia.
Wang Huizhen told 36Kr that in order to encourage reading, they provide a variety of books that are categorized according to age group and genres.
Wang Huizhen mentioned that their books are for children between 0 and 12 years old but their core customers are children between 3 and 5. Currently, the companies keep an inventory of 12,000 books.
Presently, with its inventory management and service, the team has no plans to expand into book sales on top of their book rental service. Wang also mentioned that the company will expand their services to businesses. They can provide their book return system to organizations such as kindergartens and schools.
On top of collaborating with influencers and mothers, the company has been relying on word of mouth to increase growth for the past year. The turnover in the past six months this year has surpassed last year’s total turnover.
At present, the team is seeking Pre-A series financing, which is mainly used for the expansion of in more cities and construction of central warehouses.