A Vienna-based startup has revolutionized e-learning with its innovative approach to teaching. The vision of GoStudent’s co-founders Felix Ohswald and Gregor Mueller, who gave iGlobenews an exlusive interview, has set the stage for the number one global school.
Diana Mautner Markhof and Angeladora Novi, 5 May 2021
The only way to revolutionize education is by revolutionizing the teachers’ side of education. GoStudent, a Vienna-based startup, created in 2016, has initiated this revolution. GoStudent identified that increased access to good teachers is at the heart of improving education. GoStudent has become the ideal online tutoring platform where each and every student is paired with their ideal tutor. Each tutor is specially selected to teach complex subjects in an easy, understandable and applicable way. In the words of co-founder Gregor Mueller: “Our mission is to build the number one global school. We are convinced that our amazing team and the operational excellence will allow us to become the category leader in the field”.
In an exclusive interview with iGlobenews the co-founders of GoStudent, Felix Ohswald and Gregor Mueller, shared their philosophy, motivation and goals for the future of GoStudent. Felix Ohswald, now Chief Executive Officer of GoStudent, and Gregor Mueller, now Chief Operating Officer of GoStudent, were only 21 and 23 when they started developing the first version of the tutoring service. At first, this service was nothing more than a phone number which they shared on Facebook and a WhatsApp chat. Both co-founders were the original tutors of their platform. Their philosophy of easy accessibility and excellent, efficient service paid off.
Their ‘kids’ did not feel too pressured or shy to ask questions in this informal and easy feedback loop. It was a novel approach to how teachers could and should interact with their students. The ‘kids’ did not feel the pressure of a classroom setting. This chat format proved to be ideal to help the students and soon, by word of mouth, their reputation spread throughout Vienna.
The exponential growth set in rapidly, with increasing numbers of requests, the company grew quickly and expanded at an amazing rate. As a result, GoStudent morphed into an app and the initial small circle of extremely qualified tutors expanded. Today GoStudent has become the market leader in Austria, Germany, France, the UK, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece and the Netherlands. The company’s service in Russia will be opening in the coming weeks. The original Q&A homework chat has exploded into the number one online e-learning platform in Europe. GoStudent today has almost 500 employees, 5000 tutors,10.000 plus clients and books over 350.000 classes each month.
What sets GoStudent apart from its competitors is its philosophy. Families are figuratively taken by the hand. Ideally, GoStudent will accompany their students throughout their schooling career and in the future maybe even beyond that. By pairing one tutor with one student and building strong long- term relationships, learning becomes rewarding and hopefully fun for both sides of the equation. On average, only 5% of the tutor applicants are accepted. Tutors are offered career paths and just as long- term relationships with the students are a number one priority for GoStudent, the same holds true for the tutors. Tutors can move up a career ladder, take on more responsibility and make more money along the way. A win-win-win situation for all involved.
COVID-19 has had both a positive and a negative impact on GoStudent’s business model. On the teacher side of the platform, GoStudent received above- average numbers of applicants for tutoring positions. On the student side, the demand for tutors went down. Nevertheless, despite COVID, GoStudent grew eightfold over the past 8 months. This outstanding performance and continuous growth have attracted the attention of investors. In March 2021 GoStudent received a € 70 million investment from Coatue Management, a New York- based global investment firm that specializes in technology-focused investment. The ongoing capital flowing into GoStudent has turned GoStudent into the best-funded edu-tech startup in Europe. These funds will drive further expansion to new markets. enable product optimization and finance new talent. Going public is the ultimate goal for both co-founders.
When asked what the key to their success was, both Felix Ohswald and Gregor Mueller said that they did not take a NO for an answer. Their advice for other entrepreneurs – don’t quit. If you have an idea you believe in, keep going no matter what others may tell you. True to their slogan “In GoStudent we trust”, the goal of creating the number one global school is moving within reach. This Vienna startup has already started its e-learning revolution.