HEDLINE: Chegg acquires InstaEDU for $30 million

Chegg announced that it has agreed to acquire InstaEDU, an online platform for on demand tutoring sessions, for $30 million in cash. InstaEDU’s co-founder and CEO Alison Johnston Rue will join Chegg as head of its tutoring business.

Key Takeaway

Founded in 2012 by Alison Johnston Rue, her brother Dan Johnston and Joey Shurtleff, InstaEDU quickly grew to over 3000 individually screened tutors (August 2013) covering more than 2500 subjects ranging from high school and standardized test prep through advanced college concepts.

The main premise of the service is that students who get stuck can get immediate access to a tutor who is available on the platform at that moment. When we last talked to Alison the average waiting time to get connected was under 30 seconds.

The pricing for students is at around $0.40 per minute, tutors on InstaEDU earn $20 per hour with the difference going to the platform. According to the press release Chegg expects to generate revenue with InstaEDU as early as next year.

“Students have been coming to Chegg for years to get homework help using our Chegg Study service when they’ve been stuck on a subject or need help mastering a concept. Now, they’ll have the ability to connect any time, day or night, with an expert tutor who can provide personalized assistance on practically any subject,”

states Dan Rosensweig, Chairman and CEO of Chegg in the press release.

The acquisition follows Chegg’s strategy to become the one-stop-shop for students and lifelong learners. Over the past couple of years Chegg has acquired Zinch, Notehall, Students of Fortune, and Cramster.

InstaEDU raised two rounds of venture funding. In May 2012 a $1.1 million Seed Round led by Social+Capital Partnership followed by a $4 million Series A in August 2013 led by Battery Ventures with participation of The Social+Capital Partnership.

Before founding InstaEDU, Alison and Dan Johnston founded and ran Cardinal Scholars, an in-home tutoring service which they sold to Course Hero in 2012.

“We started this business because we recognized the opportunity to bring greater efficiency to a $60 billion global market through technology that makes one-on-one tutoring fundamentally more affordable and accessible for students anywhere”

states Alison Johnston Rue in the press release.

Further Reading

  • Chegg Agrees to Acquire a Leading Online Tutoring Network, InstaEDU | PR Newswire
  • Exciting news: InstaEDU is joining Chegg! | InstaEDU Blog
  • Chegg to buy online tutoring matchmaker InstaEDU for $30 million | San Francisco Business Times
  • EduTech Team-Up: Course Hero Buys Cardinal Scholars In-Person Tutoring Business From InstaEDU | TechCrunch


  • Chegg is Beginning to Connect People through the Student Graph | EDUKWEST
  • HEDLINE: Chegg Career Center to launch later this month | EDUKWEST
  • Who is going to be Chegg’s next acquisition? Here are three Options. | EDUKWEST
  • A Tutor Cloud in a MOOC World – InstaEDU raises $4 million | EDUKWEST
  • InstaEDU: On Demand Tutoring When You Need It Most | EDUKWEST

Links | Twitter | CrunchBase

Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at