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TutorVista Gets $2M To Teach American Kids Online.

By Michelle Tsai.

Bangalore -june-02,2006.
Now that TutorVista has raised $2 million in a Series A round of capital, more American and British parents will likely learn about this new online tutoring service from India.

Founded by K. Ganesh, a serial entrepreneur who sold his last company, a business process outsourcing company called CustomerAsset, to ICICI for $22 million in 2002, TutorVista is just getting off the ground. The new capital, an investment from Sequoia Capital India, will be used for online marketing to reach customers.

Today the Bangalore-based company has about 50 tutors who teach 400 students in the U.S. and U.K. for levels from first grade through college. Tutors are available 24 hours a day.

Students and tutors talk using a headphone and microphone through a voice over Internet protocol network, and share an online whiteboard that both can "write" on in real-time. Compared to traditional tutoring, the online service is cheap. U.S. parents pay $100 each month for unlimited tutoring, or $20 an hour; prices are similar for U.K. customers.

While TutorVista offers tutoring at many levels, test prep and grade improvement for high school students make up 70% of the company's revenue. In 12 months, Ganesh said he expects the company to service 8,000 students and build the staff to 900 employees, mostly tutors. By then, the company should reach $1 million in monthly revenue.

In six to nine months, the company will raise a $10 million to $15 million venture round for acquisitions of companies that can bring a large customer base of students, said Ganesh.

The company's tutors all have masters degrees in the subjects they teach, and generally work four to five hours each day, said Ganesh. Depending on their qualifications, tutors earn INR8,000 to INR15,000 a month, or $173 to $324. Before the company officially launched in January, Ganesh spent the first half of 2005 researching the tutoring services industry, including testing out the idea for TutorVista on 25 American parents. One-third of the parents reacted positively to the online service, according to Ganesh. "They said if they wanted their son to be coached in tennis or basketball, they wouldn't like to do it with an Indian coach," said Ganesh. "But if it's to be in math, they're more than happy to be tutored by an Indian, because Indians are considered more studious and nerdy."

About TutorVista

TutorVista's mission is to provide world class tutoring and high-quality content to students around the world. TutorVista is the premier online destination for affordable education-anytime, anywhere, in any subject. Students access TutorVista from the convenience of their home or in school and use TutorVista's comprehensive lessons and question bank to master any subject with access to a live tutor around the clock. The TutorVista idea: help students to excel in school and at competitive examinations. The management team consists of professionals from education, training and Internet fields whose expertise spans eLearning, instructional design, technology-based learning, professional services management, and Internet technologies. For more information, go to www.tutorvista.com.

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