Startup Cemetery

A big resource for entrepreneurs and startup owners, in which we have collected and analyzed why +100 big companies have failed. Learn from mistakes, and avoid being part of the 90% of businesses that fail.

Tutorspree

Web-based tuition services

General Information
Category
Education
Country
United States
Started
In 2010
Business Failure
Business Outcome
Acquired
Closed
By 2013
Cause of Failure
Bad Marketing
Founders & Employees
Number of Founders
Three
Name of Founders
Aaron Harris, Josh Abrams, Ryan Bednar
Number of Employees
Between 51 And 100
Funding
Number of Funding Rounds
2
Total Funding Amount
$1.8M
Number of Investors
10
Description

Tutorspree wanted to enhance the way tutoring is done by making it easier for students to find quality tutors in their area. Tutorspree graduated from Y Combinator in 2011 and was known as the "Airbnb for tutors". People could register as a student in their educational marketplace, set their preferences and filter so that Tutorspree algorithm could pair them up with the best available tutor for them among the 7000 tutors on the platform.

Cause of Failure

Tutorspree was a startup in a very seasoned and competitive sector. There is no clear-cut reason for the venture failure but analyzing some of the available information might help us shed light on possible culprits. First, it probably had to do with the founders of the company and their lack of expertise in the field. Also, Tutorspree's vision of pairing up tutors and students to meet up in person so as to create and maintain a real connection is commendable but not practical. Although indeed, in-person lessons are still very much valuable, the market -and the world- is heading on to a different direction.

It is also possible that the platform, which was initially taking 50% of the tutor’s fees, might have witnessed a decline in overall user growth because nothing could prevent tutors and students to schedule lessons without recurring to Tutorspree.com after they got to know each other.

Another problem for Tutorspree's seemed to be that the company was primarily dependent on search traffic from Google to acquire new students and tutors, and any algorithm changes could significantly reduce their traffic and in return their users.

As resources started to dwindle and funding failed to come in, Tutorspree decided to shut down. Its assets (including its user's database) were bought by Wyzant, a tutoring marketplace launched in 2005 which is still active.

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