Meet one of the hottest names in education: Chegg, a platform where students tap experts for “24/7 homework help.”
Chegg’s textbook answering service is a student staple — but just one of many tools Chegg offers to help students
Chegg said it’s expecting $790m-$800m in net revenue this year.
But it started small as a ‘Craigslist for students’
In October 2000, a group of Iowa State students launched Cheggpost, an internet version of a campus bulletin board.
The site struggled, but 2 Iowa MBAs took over after seeing that most traffic was from searches for used textbooks. In 2005, they rebranded as Chegg and shifted focus toward becoming a “Netflix” for textbooks.
In 2010, former Yahoo COO and Guitar Hero CEO Dan Rosensweig joined. After taking the company public in 2013, the new CEO led a broader shift away from textbooks.
In layman’s terms, Chegg went shopping
Rosensweig acquired more than a dozen companies to help turn Chegg into an all-you-can-eat buffet of student services, including:
- Internships.com for $11m
- StudyBlue, a flashcards platform, for ~$21m
- Imagine Easy Solutions, the company behind EasyBib and BibMe, for $42m
- Mathway, a math problem solver, for $100m
Basically, things students drool over.
Now, Chegg is getting good grades
In Chegg’s Q1 earnings report, the company announced:
- Net revenue of $198.4m (+51% YoY)
- A total of 4.8m Chegg Services subscribers (+64% YoY)
- The addition of 6m new solutions to Chegg’s Q&A database
- International subscribers accounted for 33% of new questions
Chegg still needs to solve for cheating
The company has been called a “superspreader” of cheating, and the problem has been exacerbated by the pandemic and at-home learning.
But Chegg is making strides. In January, it launched Honor Shield, a service where professors can pre-submit exam questions to prevent them from being answered during a test.