Flashnotes is an online marketplace where students can sell their notes, study guides, flashcard decks, video tutorials, etc. The product/service is positioned as world’s first peer-to-peer marketplace of high-quality academic content. Flashnotes enables students the ability to gain access to course specific knowledge in real time by utilizing collaborative commerce and the latest technologies. Their business model is very straightforward. Student sellers set their own price for their own notes, study guides, virtual flashcards and video tutorials. Student sellers can also host a one-to-many or one-to-one live tutoring sessions. Flashnotes takes a 30% cut plus a $1.00 transaction fee.
Education is one sector that is going through a lot of disruption by technology. One of the core aspects of education is knowledge sharing and communication. We see an increasing trend where college courses today are offered online. Students can take classes that are offered online at a lower price point. These technology shifts is what is making Flashnotes a possibility. Flashnotes initial target market is 21.4 MM college students. More and more students are using devices in their classroom – to take notes, to collaborate, submit assignments etc.. Flashnotes is well positioned to execute in this growing market and help reward students who are more organized in taking notes. Based on their initial data, over 65% of their student buyers have improved their GPA.
I believe Flashnotes is filling a crucial demand for students by democratizing the way students learn and collaborate. College students are always looking for ways to get more done with less. Flashnotes provides a mechanism for them to make money (by taking notes as part of their learning process) while helping others succeed. They also promote students whose notes are popular based on the how buyers have rated their previous course notes. Over course of time, sellers who provide lower value will eventually get noted down. In future flashnotes, has a huge opportunity to learn more about the student learning habits based on the data they collect and upsell premium service such as tutoring services with other fellow student, career counselling and job placements.