Whether it involves shopping for others, using your car as a taxi service, renting out a room, or something else, one of the most recent trends in tech is for startups to enable the average person to pick up a bit of cash by offering providing a service on a part-time (or sometimes even full-time) basis. Online tutoring is not really a new concept, but French startup Kokoroe launched earlier this year with the aim of enabling people to offer courses, on any particular topic, from the comfort of their own homes.
In order to get a feel for the platform, I did a sample search (“programming”, for example) and found that listings can be filtered down by price, location (at the tutor’s home, the student’s home, a public place, or online), by level, or by the type of class (individual or collective). If that does not suit you, there is also the option of In my particular search, I found that clicking on a profile brings up information on the teacher, materials that they will need, and a description of the course. The prices are determined by the teacher and, like other marketplaces, Kokoroe generates revenue on a commission basis, charging 10% (+ 2.5 Euro) each time that a teacher connects with a student.
In terms of traction, the startup currently claims more than 4,000 users and 57,000 visitors, who can take advantage of over 980 courses. Kokoroe reports that the most popular courses at this point are in English, computers & IT, guitar lessons, cooking, makeup, dance, couture, math, piano lessons, and photography.
Kokoroe turned to the acceleration program at Microsoft Ventures last September before officially launching in March. Last week, they announced that they have raised 250K Euro from a group of French entrepreneurs and investors that includes Xavier Niel, among others. With the backing, the startup intends to expand internationally (they currently offer versions of the site in English and French) and to develop their platform for mobile devices.