The U.S. tutoring market is currently valued at $10 billion and quickly expanding. Many edtech companies have come and gone over the past few years, several of which have tried to capture a piece of the ever-growing tutoring market. Some apps help students with homework questions, some provide language learning games and other companies allow students to book video conferencing sessions with remote tutors. But no tutoring startup was allowing students or parents to book on-demand, in-person tutoring sessions through an app.
Traditionally, parents and students have found tutors through flyers, by word of mouth or through brick and mortar tutoring service providers. Gooroo sought to reinvent this process by instantly connecting students with tutors through its app. It was following the current rise of the gig economy (contractors providing on-demand services), which has seen the success of companies such as TaskRabbit, Uber and Instacart.
The process is easy. Users download the app, create a profile and store a payment method. They can then search by subject, tutor availability, tutor rating and location. Sessions are booked through the app, a meeting spot is determined and the student and tutor meet in person. After the session finishes, the tutor is paid through the app and the student provides a rating, similar to completing a ride with Uber or Lyft.
Gooroo currently offers a range of academic subjects including foreign languages (Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, and Arabic); computer science (C++, R, Matlab, Python, SQL, Java, HTML, and databases); test prep (SAT,ACT); and core subjects like English, math, science and history, among others.
Tutors also benefit from Gooroo. After applying, and undergoing a background check and in-person meeting with the top management, Gooroo tutors, often college students or flexible professionals, can make a significant stream of income. The app reduces for them the burden of posting flyers or searching for students who may need help, therefore streamlining the once time consuming process.
Gooroo was founded in 2015 with seed funding of $500,000, and the app officially launched in New York in the spring of 2016. In the past four months, Gooroo has gained almost 3,000 users, facilitated nearly 600 tutoring sessions and grown 11 percent month over month. It continues to optimize its user experience, drawing from the feedback of parents and students, as well as its active network of tutors.
With its proven track record in New York, Gooroo plans to expand to more U.S. cities in 2017, as well as to South Korea, where it already has a small team working on its launch. Eventually, Gooroo plans to go beyond academic subjects and offer music lessons, fitness lessons, art lessons and other skill-based sessions. It will revolutionize the way people learn or share their expertise.