The online tutoring marketplace platform HeyTutor announced on Tuesday it had reached a deal with ScOp Venture Capital for $1 million in Series A funding.
HeyTutor operates as a hub for tutoring, where learners and parents can come to find experienced, rated, and vetted individuals for help in instruction. Tutors, in turn, must pass the site’s screening process. Once cleared, they can set their preferences, log their work history, and receive notifications about open tutoring positions.
“It’s hard to find a qualified tutor. As school systems consistently adapt and become more competitive, great tutors are becoming more and more scarce. Large tutoring agencies are now pushing out online tutoring to avoid the complexities in establishing a local match. There is a massive need for a trusted tutoring marketplace that can provide in-home tutoring,” said CEO Skyler Lucci, in a release.
Lucci founded HeyTutor with Ryan Neman in 2017 when the two were just 22. Before launching the startup, they realized that most online tutoring sites did not adequately meet the needs of the tutoring market base.
“As the gig economy continues to grow, sites like AirBnB and Upwork continuously prove that individuals want the freedom and power to work on their terms with flexibility. We created HeyTutor to give the power back to our educators. Tutors can pick and choose exactly what jobs they are interested in, negotiate a set hourly rate, and management all billing and payments seamlessly. We currently offer opportunities, for over 250 subjects, in over 100 cities throughout the US,” said Neman, according to a release.
The $1 million injection from ScOp Venture Capital will be used to help scale HeyTutor and expand its team.
“I know from direct experience just how inefficient the tutoring industry is,” said ScOp Venture Capital Founder Kevin O’Connor. “The industry is highly fragmented, extremely large, inefficient and sorely lacking in technology. We believe HeyTutor has developed the leading tutoring marketplace helping to better satisfy the needs of students, parents and tutors. We are excited to help the HeyTutor team rapidly scale their business.”
Investments in Tutoring
VC firms may determine how learners access education in the future, and many VC firms are currently placing bets on platforms similar to HeyTutor.
Knack, an online tutoring marketplace that partners with universities and colleges raised a $1.5 million seed round in November.
Also in November, the India-based Vedantu secured $11 million in Series B.
But while these rounds indicate promise and potential in the online tutoring marketplace, many other funds are going down a different path.
Many technologists and government leaders around the world see AI-based tutoring as a highly scalable and more affordable way to fill in the educational gaps many learners experience. And VCs tend to agree.
The funds invested in companies like Knack, Vedantu, and HeyTutor pale in comparison to the hundreds of millions that have poured in to AI-based tutoring companies in recent months.
Numerous existing Chinese (human-powered) tutoring platforms have received these funds to develop AI solutions. Primary examples include Yuanfudao, which raised $300 million in December. VIPKid, which received $500 million in funding last summer, is rumored to be seeking an additional $400-$500 million.
Back in the United States, Quizlet, an online test prep and study site, secured a $20 million funding round last year to develop an AI component that would adaptively deliver students learning materials to target the areas in which they’re struggling. In October 2018, the company passed the 50 million active monthly user milestone and announced a new Denver office.
Featured Image: J Kelly Brito, Unsplash.