Does Sri Lanka have a comparative advantage in tuition?
A leading candidate to watch, according to analysts, is TutorVista, a tutoring service founded two years ago by Krishnan Ganesh, a 45-year-old Indian entrepreneur and a pioneer of offshore call centers.
Concerns about the quality of K-12 education in America and the increased emphasis on standardized tests is driving the tutoring business in general. Traditional classroom tutoring services like Kaplan and Sylvan are doing well and offer online features. And there are other remote services like Growing Stars, Tutor.com and SmarThinking.
Yet TutorVista, analysts say, is different in a number of ways. Other remote tutoring services generally offer hourly rates of $20 to $30 instead of the $40 to $60 hourly charges typical of on-site tutoring. By contrast, TutorVista takes an all-you-can-eat approach to instruction. Its standard offering is $99 a month for as many 45-minute tutoring sessions as a student arranges.
TutorVista also stands out for its well-known venture backers, its scale and its ambition. The two-year-old company has raised more than $15 million from investors including Sequoia, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Silicon Valley Bank. TutorVista employs 760 people, including 600 tutors in India, a teaching staff it plans to double by year-end. Its 52-person technical staff has spent countless hours building the software system to schedule, monitor and connect potentially tens of thousands of tutors with students oceans away.
Powered by ScribeFire.