Amazon and JibJab Alum Dave Schappell will launch his newest startup, TeachStreet, sometime tomorrow. They will also announce a first round of funding: $2.25 million from Madrona Ventures, Bezos Expeditions and a number of angel investors.
The company, a sort of Yelp for real world classes (cooking, dog obedience, music lessons, ballroom dance, foreign language, golf, yoga, etc.), allows instructors to upload information about classes. Users can look for available classes, and read and write reviews on the course and the instructor.
For now the site will be advertising supported. in the future TeachStreet may charge instructors for premium services. They will become particularly good at promoting quality services to users over time, Schappell says, and they can charge for that. They will also be able to direct highly targeted advertising at users – a book on dog training, for example, to users looking for dog obediance classes.
The service is launching first in the Seattle area and has 25,000 courses in 8 primary categories and 70 subcategories. Most search and browsing, however, is done through tags, which allow for the creation of literally any category of classes.
Dutch startup Libersy,which is creating a distribubted booking system for real world services, is indirectly competitive. For now, Schappell says, TeachStreet will not directly provide booking and calendaring services, but it’s a feature they’ll add in the future.