TakeLessons Takes in $7M to Expand Its Online Market for Classes

San Diego’s TakeLessons might just be one of those startups that works for years before suddenly becoming an overnight success.

It’s been eight years since the company was founded as an online marketplace where music teachers could find students and vice versa. Today TakeLessons says it has raised $7 million in new funding to continue its expansion into new markets with Web-based software that helps teachers schedule lessons and manage their business. The company also moved recently into new offices in downtown San Diego, and now has 58 employees.

TakeLessons CEO Steven Cox says the additional capital will enable the company to move more quickly into other markets, such as foreign language instruction. From its initial market in music lessons, TakeLessons already had expanded into matching students with teachers in the performing arts and academic tutoring. Last month’s acquisition of Chicago-based Betterfly added online offerings in arts and crafts, vocational classes, and self-improvement courses like public speaking and personal life coaching.

Take Lessons rally

TakeLessons CEO (center) Rallies Employees

As Cox explains, TakeLessons is now beginning to realize the advantages that come with applying its core technology in cloud-based scheduling, billing, and communications to help facilitate learning in different types of markets. As he puts it, TakeLessons’ software-as-a-service allows instructors to focus more on teaching, and to spend less time trying to figure out how to run their business as they make their way as online entrepreneurs.

The new funding was led by Chicago-based Lightbank, which was also the biggest investor in Betterfly.

Cox explains in an e-mail that the Betterfly acquisition and the funding happened simultaneously, but none of the cash was used to acquire Betterfly. It’s all designated for … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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