CHICAGO and PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- WyzAnt, the leading online marketplace for private tutoring, today announced a $21.5 million investment from Accel Partners, the global venture capital firm. The funds will be used to drive product innovation and scale WyzAnt's technology platform as the company expands globally.
With over 500,000 tutors and 1 million students, WyzAnt is the largest tutoring marketplace in the US. Parents, students and others use WyzAnt to search for and hire qualified, pre-screened tutors in their city. Millions of hours of tutoring have been completed through the marketplace, and the website boasts over 850,000 tutor reviews and ratings. WyzAnt's tutor community covers more than 240 subjects ranging from elementary school subjects, to college prep, to university level curricula.
"It is widely accepted among academic professionals and researchers that one-on-one tutoring is the most effective way to learn; at WyzAnt, we are dedicated to using technology and coming up with innovative ways to help students connect with tutors and facilitate customized learning," said Andrew Geant, founder and CEO of WyzAnt.
The financing is the first outside funding that WyzAnt has raised since being founded in 2005. Co-founders Andrew Geant, CEO, and Mike Weishuhn, CTO, bootstrapped the company and have scaled the business to more than $100 million in all-time gross sales with a 120 percent annual growth rate since inception. As part of this investment, Ryan Sweeney and John Locke of Accel have joined the company's board of directors.
"We have invested in a number of marketplace businesses over the years and are impressed with the rich sense of community that WyzAnt has fostered," added John Locke, Accel. "Not only does the platform provide teachers and tutors with a way to source new business, but the company has also developed great technology to streamline the entire tutoring experience for parents and students. It's a win-win proposition for all parties and a compelling economic model that has been very effective at several other Accel-backed companies including Etsy and 99 Designs."
The sharing economy
WyzAnt empowers tutors and teachers by providing them with a way to make additional money. The company supplies tutors with in-depth online profiles, payment processing, and CRM tools to enable tutors to "run a business." Interested tutors can apply at WyzAnt.com.
Students and tutors on WyzAnt have access to educational content and resources – through WyzAnt Resources – which currently offers free Q&A forums, lessons, instructional videos, blog posts, and a venue for online feedback.
WyzAnt is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and expects to hire over 50 new employees (mostly engineers) in Chicago over the coming year. Interested applicants should visit http://www.wyzant.com/about/careers.
WyzAnt is the largest tutoring marketplace in the U.S., connecting more than 1 million students seeking personalized learning experiences with over 500,000 tutors. Parents, students and others use WyzAnt to search for and hire qualified, pre-screened tutors in their city, and WyzAnt provides tutors and teachers with in-depth profiles, payment processing and CRM tools to help them run their businesses. WyzAnt's tutor community covers more than 240 subjects ranging from elementary school subjects, to college prep, to university level curricula, and WyzAnt is the clear leader in tutor reach with its tutors living within 10 miles of 94% of the U.S. population. Through its WyzAnt Resources section, WyzAnt also offers educational content and resources such as free Q&A forums, lesson plans, videos, forums and blog posts. WyzAnt was founded by CEO Andrew Geant and CTO Mike Weishuhn in 2005 and is backed by Accel Partners. Learn more about the WyzAnt story, including where the company is hiring, at wyzant.com/about.
About Accel Partners
Founded in 1983, Accel Partners has a long history of partnering with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class businesses. Accel invests globally using dedicated teams and market-specific strategies for local geographies, with offices in Palo Alto, New York City, London, and Bangalore, as well as in China via its partnership with IDG-Accel.
Accel has helped entrepreneurs build over 300 successful technology companies, many of which have defined their categories. AdMob, AirWatch, Atlassian, Braintree, Brightcove, Cloudera, Dropbox, Facebook, Fusion-IO, Lookout, Macromedia, metroPCS, MoPub, Nimble Storage, Opower, OzForex, QlikTech, Real Networks, Riverbed, Spotify, SuperCell, SunRun and YapStone
Notable marketplace businesses within the portfolio include: 99Designs, Bonobos, Diapers.com, Etsy, Flipkart, Groupon, Kayak, SquareSpace, Trulia and Walmart.com.
SOURCE Accel Partners