InstaEDU, the San Francisco based startup, has raised $4 million in fresh funding that it will use to scale out its online tutoring platform.
The round, which is InstaEDU’s Series A, was led by Battery Ventures with the participation of the Social+Capital Partnership, which led the company’s seed round last year. This brings the total invested to date in the two year old startup to $5.1 million. Other investors include Saba Software founder Bobby Yazdani, Box co-founder Dylan Smith, HP exec Todd Bradley, August Capital partner John Johnston, Nextdoor co-founder Nirav Tolia, and Nicolas Berggruen.
InstaEDU’s co-founder and CEO Alison Johnston Rue stopped by TechCrunch this week to talk about the funding and give us a hands-on look at the product, which can be used by all ages 13 and up. You can check out that demo in the video embedded above. Right now, she says, the most popular subjects on the site are in the STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering, and math — but InstaEDU’s tutors teach the full gamut of subjects.
Tutoring sessions on InstaEDU cost the student between $25 to $45 per hour, depending on the type of lesson provided and other factors. That’s a significant discount from typical offline tutoring rates. “Tutoring has always been really powerful, but it’s also exclusive in a lot of ways,” Johnston Rue says. “The typical price point [for traditional sessions] was $50 to $100 per hour or more.”
It’s an ecosystem that seems to be working out quite well for all involved: There are more than 3,000 tutors on the InstaEDU platform today who make an average of $70 per week, with the most active and top-rated instructors regularly pulling in thousands of dollars a month — all without having to leave their homes (or dorm rooms.) Meanwhile, InstaEDU has profitable operations in its tutoring business (though at the moment, the overall company is not profitable, choosing instead to focus on growth.)
Going forward, InstaEDU plans to use the new funding to scale out its product offerings and add more employees to its current full-time staff of 13. Keeping an edge is important, since Johnston Rue says InstaEDU’s competition is basically anywhere on the web where students go for help — whether that’s Google, Wikipedia, or other online tutoring sites.