Changes GMAT Prep Business Model

July 25, 2007

Near the end of 2006, TechCrunch profiled, a startup that aimed to provide low-cost online preparation for the GMAT examination.  So all of you MBA candidates pay attention. 

At the time, Grockit, started by Farvood Nivi was unfunded but apparently lower cost and higher margin than other GMAT prep programs.  Using WebEx-platformed online classes, Grockit could actually save MBA hopefuls anywhere from the $600-900 extra they would pay if they were to chose popular programs such as Kaplan and Princeton Review instead.  To market the startup Nivi and partners signed up as “expert consultants” on Bitwine and planned to rely on the word-of-mouth marketing generated from the huge monetary savings of users.

Fast forward to July 2007.  Grockit has now raised $2.7 million in Series A financing and their promising-looking business model is very different.  Instead of using WebEx to provide teacher-to-many-student classes, Grockit aims to take advantage of data showing that students learn better from other students.  Nivi and technical co-founder Michael Buffington are aiming to design a platform from scratch called MMOL, or Massive Multiplayer Online Learning.  They believe the student2student teaching platform will be more successful than the original teacher2student WebEx platform originally utilized.  According to TechCrunch, Grockit has refused to release any other details at this time.

Stay tuned for updates however.  I believe this will be an interesting startup to watch.


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