TeachMe.To, a sports coaching platform for beginner athletes, secured $2 million in seed funding, the company exclusively told TechCrunch. The funding will be used to scale the platform, launch a new app for students and expand beyond its sports offerings.
The startup was founded in late 2021 by CEO Nick O’Brien and chairman Tyler Maloney, with the goal of facilitating the booking process so more consumers can start a hobby or learn a new sport.
“Learning something new can be intimidating — that’s why most of us don’t start,” O’Brien told TechCrunch. “TeachMe.To exists to make it exponentially easier to try out a new skill or sport.”
TeachMe.To provides access to local lessons in more than 100 U.S. cities from vetted coaches with expertise in pickleball, tennis, golf, surfing and boxing. The classes are tailored to each student and their goals, O’Brien explained. TeachMe.To also offers complimentary insurance and a “Love Your Lesson” money-back guarantee.
The platform says it facilitates more than 100 lessons a day.
TeachMe.To also aims to help instructors build their client portfolio or break into teaching entirely. For instance, a former D1 tennis player can apply for TeachMe.To to make money coaching kids and beginners. Only 10% of applicants are accepted.
Notably, TeachMe.To offers free filming sessions for all coaches to have a “Vet ’Em Video,” so aspiring students can learn about their experience, qualifications, philosophies and reasons for coaching.
“Starting your own coaching business costs upwards of $10,000 and many coaches never break through and succeed,” said O’Brien. “What’s great about TeachMe.To is we reduce that cost to $0. We handle all the business aspects, so all our coaches have to do is show up and teach.”
When a coach first signs up on TeachMe.To, the platform charges a one-time matchmaking fee based on demand and location. TeachMe.To takes 20% commission.
Top instructors on the platform are currently earning $5,000 per month. By the end of 2023 — which marks TeachMe.To’s first full year in operation — it’s anticipated that coaches will take home over $2,000,000, O’Brien told us.
While TeachMe.To already has an app for coaches to manage lessons, it will also launch a separate app for learners next month. The student app will allow users to track their progress between lessons, receive video feedback from coaches and more.
“We plan to build a Duolingo-like learning experience to accelerate the student’s progress,” O’Brien added.
In 2024, TeachMe.To plans to add more skills for people to learn, such as boxing and piano, among other hobbies. The platform is currently testing fitness and dance classes as well. The company’s five-year plan involves adding more skills and expanding to more locations.
The round was led by 1984 Ventures with participation from Common Metal and Alumni Ventures, as well as angel investors, including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman; Vivek Patel, former CPO of Yelp; Brent Turner, president of Rover; and Ben Lauzier, former VP of product and growth at Thumbtack.
Shortly after its founding, the company raised about $500,000 in angel funding. The recent round brings the total amount to approximately $2.5 million.
Similar platforms like TeachMe.To exist, including CoachUp and Athletes Untapped. However, 1984 Ventures founder Ramy Adeeb said, “sport-specific, localized platforms are built for very advanced players: those who want to master golf and shoot par or beat their peers in competitive tennis matches.”
Adeeb believes that “TeachMe.To is driving the democratization of sport: a transition from courts and courses being gate-kept by athletic experts into communities for everyday health and wellness,” he told us. “Many Americans aren’t worried about mastery; they just want to be able to start playing a sport with confidence.”’