This article was originally posted on the Tech North website.
Tutora, the Yorkshire startup serving the home tutoring market, has taken a big step forward. Until now it focused on letting people book in-person tuition. With its new platform, the tuition takes place online, opening up a whole new opportunity to the Sheffield-based firm.
The platform includes video chat and a visual collaboaration tool that lets you draw, share your screen, and save PDFs of the things you create. Usefully, all lessons are recorded too.
Tutora co-founder Mark Hughes believes a lot of the tuition industry will move online in time. He says the startup’s main rival is London-based MyTutor, which only offers online tuition. Hughes believes by offering both online lessons and the ability to book in-person sessions, Tutora is a more flexible offering.
The Tutora team.
According to Hughes, Tutora has facilitated 150,000 lessons in two years. It now has 10,000 tutors on its books, teaching 20,000 lessons a month.
When your tutors are your investors
Earlier this year, Tutora raised £700,000 on Crowdcube. This was the company’s second equity-based crowdfunding round. Hughes says that almost half the investors in the most recent round were tutors who use the platform. He says having them as investors helps engender a sense of loyalty.
Hughes says tutor-investors appreciate the investor updates they receive. Understanding the future direction of a company is important not only if you’ve got stake in their success, but if you make a big chunk of your livelihood through it. Hughes says that some tutors make “tens of thousands” (of pounds) a year through Tutora, although most are university students and others looking for casual, supplemental income.
As for the future, Tutora plans to improve its online tutoring experience with lesson management features, and a payment history to help tutors file their taxes.
And a little further down the road, there’s the prospect of expanding its offering beyond the UK.
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