Writing business

Course Hero picks up Scribbr for subject-specific study aid – TechCrunch

For an undisclosed price, course hero acquired Scribbr, a proofreading and editing service for academic writing. It’s Course Hero’s latest deal in a series of purchases – including CliffsNotes, LitCharts, QuillBot and Symbolab – all powered by a funding duo that have seen the edtech platform valued at $1.1 billion. , then $3.6 billion.

Founded in 2012, Scribbr claims to have an international network of 700 editors who offer a variety of services, from edits to ratings and clarity checks. The deal will help Course Hero expand its presence in Europe, as Scribbr is a Netherlands-based company. Overall, Scribbr’s focus specifically complements Course Hero’s purchase of Quillbot in 2021, an AI tool that helps clarify writing it’s somewhat reminiscent of Grammarly.

Course Hero CEO Andrew Grauer explained that his company’s mission is to create a Q&A platform with extreme levels of specificity for students. It sells student subscriptions that unlock access to all of its learning and teaching content, which includes course-specific material created by teachers and publishers.

The startup wants to be subject-agnostic, which means it can connect students to any specialty they need guidance in, whether it’s a niche grammar rule or a point algebra question. In some ways, this sounds like the future of education: students shouldn’t have to cobble together advice, and even better if it’s on-demand help. Edtech companies that help the same students in different subjects can even fill in consistent gaps in their understanding. What if a company could tell a college kid that he’s constantly confused when it comes to inferential questions?

The flip side, however, is hard to ignore. Just because a student wants to come to Course Hero for math help doesn’t mean they automatically want to come to the company for a summary of Shakespeare reading. This reality may take away from Course Hero’s supposed goal of creating a stickier, more useful product for customers.

Grauer’s response to this concern is that he says he has no plans to rush integrations between new and different companies within Course Hero.

“We start with the thesis of ‘let’s be decentralized, empower and pursue the entrepreneurial spirit of building these one-man businesses,'” Grauer said. to see more and more integration of different content, tools and services between offerings at the right time.” The response suggests that Course Hero wants to play a secondary role, and more of a platform role, in the lives of these companies, rather than combining them and paying them to generate more subscriptions.

And to believe the founder, who started the company in 2006 and only recently started using venture capital as leverage to grow his core business, it seems like each acquisition continues to stand on its own in its own world. specific. There’s more to come, he tells me, which means we’ll see what the appetite for edtech looks like as it evolves.

“We’re a relatively more independent, stand-alone brand business,” he said. “There are so many amazing opportunities to integrate everyone’s technology and services. And the question is how to stack and prioritize them.

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