Flashnotes Buys Moolaguides, Consolidating The Market For Crowdsourced, Online Study Materials

Flashnotes, a Boston-based startup that operates a marketplace for students to sell and buy study materials for specific courses, has acquired a smaller competitor called Moolaguides. The move comes around a month after Flashnotes announced a Series A round of $3.6 million from Stage 1 Ventures, Runa Capital, SoftBank Capital and Atlas Ventures.

Strategically, the acquisition points to a trend of consolidation in the online education space.

Moolaguides is based out of Florida, where it was founded by a senior at Florida State University called Thomas Brady, and it has an active footprint there. Last July, Flashnotes acquired rival NoteUtopia to strengthen its reach on the West Coast of the U.S. The company is on track to expand its reach to some 300 universities by the end of this year, Matousek told me last month.

“Moolaguides was created with a similar vision to help college students earn money – and to get better grades, and Tom has developed an impressive business,” said Matousek in a statement. “We’re excited by this opportunity to expand our student-to-student marketplace, particularly at FSU, and we think Moolaguides users will really benefit from our expanded selection of study materials and payment distribution for student sellers.”

Consolidation among startups is important in a market dominated by well-funded, large online education companies like Chegg, and the wider trend of MOOCs that pull students away from physical classrooms altogether.

The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Moolaguides has generated around $400,000 in revenue to date, Flashnotes’s founder and CEO Mike Matousek tells me, and it has paid out some $375,000 to students on its platform to date. Flashnotes, meanwhile, doesn’t provide a total figure for payouts on its platform, but its leaderboard details that its top-five student earners have gained between $11,000 and $5,000 from selling study guides, flashcards, notes and other study media on the Flashnotes platform.

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