Coach gives tutors and other freelancers tools to build an online business

If you’re a tutor looking to offer your services online, a startup called Coach aims to give you the tools you need.

CEO Spencer Fry created a similar platform, in some ways, when he co-founded CarbonMade, which offers designers and artists an easy way to showcase their portfolios online. He said there’s a bigger challenge with Coach, though, because there are more pieces to the product.

So what is Coach actually offering? It includes a website builder, an online payment system, a public calendar for scheduling, publishing tools for supplemental content, a customer database for tracking students and the ability to get support from Coach team members and other users.

On their own, none of these features might sound particularly unique, but Fry suggested that no one has brought together “the business tools and the marketing piece” in this kind of package.

Coach calendar

“We think of it as a hub of your business that allows you to do everything you need to do, kind of a Squarespace meets a Square,” he said.

Fry also emphasized that Coach is an “open platform.” In other words, this isn’t about building a single marketplace for tutors and students, but rather giving tutors the tools they need to connect with students on their own websites. At the same time, he said it could eventually become “more of a marketplace” in the sense that it will help its users find new clients.

And while Coach is ostensibly aimed at online tutors, Fry said it’s already being used by a broader range of customers, including personal trainers, therapists and developers — as well as his girlfriend, a writer who’s teaching a course on copywriting. Basically, it could be useful for anyone who wants to do hourly work, promote themselves and collect payments online.

Coach currently makes money by charging a transaction fee on payments. In the future, Fry said it will also introduce a paid plan with features like custom domains.

You can read more about Fry’s vision at this interview he did with his investors at Notation Capital. (Other backers include Mike Karnjanaprakorn of Skillshare, Jack Groetzinger of SeatGeek and Jeremy Hitchcock of Dyn.)