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June 12, 2006

Outsourced tutoring company raises $2M

by Steven E.F. Brown

TutorVista, an online tutoring company that pairs students in the United States with tutors in India, raised $2 million in its first round of venture funding.

Sequoia Capital India led the round, and the company's angel investors also gave money.

TutorVista's U.S. headquarters is in San Francisco, though it is staffed by just one employee -- Patty Perry, vice president of sales and marketing for the United States. Her job is to spend some of that venture capital and shift the company's advertising strategy from an emphasis on search-engine keywords to other, more traditional methods.

The company, which has 50 tutors in India and 90 employees total, charges most of its 100 students about $100 a month for unlimited tutoring in multiple subjects. Other students pay about $20 for a single session.

Tutors work with students over the Internet, using voice or instant messaging and an erasable "white board" function. Students can be tutored anywhere they have an Internet connection, Perry said.

TutorVista offers tutoring in all subjects for grades K-12, and has some college students and people preparing for tests like the GMAT and LSAT, Perry told the Business Times.

Perry said the company may also look for partnerships with companies and offer discounted tutoring to families of their employees.

The company was founded by Krishnan Ganesh in Bangalore.

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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