online education

OK, Stupid: IAC to Bring Dating Algorithms to Tutor.com After Acquisition

It's a match!
IAC CEO Barry Diller. (David Shankbone)

IAC CEO Barry Diller. (David Shankbone)

Oh, algorithms: So good for trading stocks, handicapping elections and finding Mrs. Right—and now, perhaps, finding the right online tutor.

IAC, the parent company to Match.com and OKCupid, acquired Tutor.com, according to a press release, noting an opportunity to apply its expertise in marketing and distribution to the online education service.

Founded in 1998, Tutor.com touts itself as the world’s largest online tutoring service, claiming a network of 2,500 experts who provide homework help and professional development over a proprietary online platform. According to The New York Times, which reported on the deal last night, 90 percent of the company’s business comes from partnerships with institutions such as the U.S. military, schools and libraries.

IAC intends to change that. The company did not disclose the terms of the deal, but one person briefed on the acquisition estimated that IAC had paid just under $40 million for Tutor.com. IAC plans to improve the site’s user interface and marketing, and apply the complex algorithms used on Web sites like Match.com and HomeAdvisor.com, which pairs homeowners with contractors.

“It’s not often we find a company with such untapped potential that our particular skill set can help unlock, in an area that truly helps people improve their lives,” said IAC CEO Greg Blatt in the release.

It all sounds good—so long as nobody dates their tutor.
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