Varsity Tutors lands $50 million in Series C funding

Varsity Tutors, the learning platform founded in 2011, today announced the close of a $50 million Series C funding round led by Learn Capital. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and existing investor TCV also participated in the round.

Varsity Tutors started as an offline service, connecting the best tutors on campus with those who needed help for IRL study sessions. Fast forward seven years and the company now offers a full-fledged online platform for learning, including free on-demand content via Varsity Learning Tools.

But more importantly, Varsity Tutors has an Instant Tutoring product that will connect a student with a live expert in as little as 15 seconds via desktop web or mobile. Tutoring sessions also offer doc editing, whiteboard functionality and other tools to make sure the lesson is as impactful as possible.

In September 2017, Varsity Tutors acquired First Tutors in the UK as part of its plan to expand geographically.

First Tutors is currently working under its own brand, but the merged entities are in the process of sharing technology assets.

With the new funding, Varsity Tutors wants to enter new categories, enter new geographies, and build new products.

Founder and CEO Chuck Cohn says that the company sees a lot of demand for technical training, and that that seems like the logical next step for category expansion. Music lessons are also a viable option — the company already offers piano and guitar lessons.

“Online learning hasn’t been great,” said Cohn. “We’re building an experience that’s better online than it is offline, but we bump up against the biases of what online learning meant over the last 25 years. Our challenge is getting people to try it out and experience why it’s better.”

Since inception, Varsity Tutors has logged 3 million hours of live one-on-one tutoring, with more than 40,000 experts on the platform, across 1,000 subjects.

The company has raised a total of $107 million in funding.