IAC's Tutor.com buys The Princeton Review: Can these models, platforms merge?

Summary:Tutor.com has the technology platform, marketing and subscription model. The Princeton Review has the content, brand and high price points. Can these these two players combine to challenge Kaplan?

Tutor.com, a unit of IAC, said Tuesday that it will acquire The Princeton Review, a college admission and testing company, in a move that aims to blend a modern technology platform with a trusted brand.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. The Princeton Review, which competes with Kaplan in the test prep, tutoring and admissions market, was owned by Charlesbank Capital Partners.

According to IAC, the big driver for the deal is taking The Princeton Review's content, services and resources and melding them with Tutor.com's platform. Tutor.com matches tutors with students and facilitates 6,000 one-on-one sessions a day.

princeton review
(Screenshot: ZDNet)

Going forward, The Princeton Review will be the primary brand with Tutor.com being used for institutional clients.

Tutor.com CEO Mandy Ginsberg will run the combined company. In a statement, Ginsberg said that Tutor.com's technology and marketing will drive The Princeton Review ahead.

Tutor.com provides access to tutors in more than 40 subjects and charges $39.99 a month for 1 hour of access, $79.99 a month for 2 hours and $114.99 a month for 3 hours. The Princeton Review has various price points ranging from $999 for a 30-hour SAT prep course in small group setting to $7,200 for private online tutoring.

What's interesting to watch is how these two companies ultimately blend together. The Princeton Review's culture isn't likely to match Tutor.com's. Technology platforms will have to merge. And the business model integration and pricing schemes may also be a challenge to simplify for students and parents. 

IAC will lump the combined company into The Match Group business unit.

Topics: Innovation


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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