Whether you’re a parent, student, or teacher, you know Quizlet. It’s one of the most popular study apps and learning resource sites on the internet. It allows users to create flashcard-style study sets for a variety of topics which can then be shared with other students around the world. Users can also access lessons from experts and teachers in different subjects and even grade tests created by other students in the system. Quizlet has millions of active monthly users, but how exactly does it make money?
Quizlet is a for-profit company headquartered in San Francisco, that makes money via a paid subscriptions, in-app classified advertising, and premium content packages. Quizlet has become the go-to site for studying and mastering core subjects and is available in 15+ languages.
If you’re interested in Quizlet’s revenue numbers, how do they make money, and how many revenue streams do they have, this post is for you. In this article, we have explained in detail how Quizlet makes money and its business model.
What is Quizlet?
Quizlet is a SaaS-based educational technology platform. The company delivers an innovative product that combines a variety of features to help students and teachers learn, study, and manage classes from all over the world.
As a teaching aid helpful for learning languages and other subjects, Quizlet works best for independent and self-paced learning. It gives users the ability to create flashcards, and also access user-generated learning material.
With interesting features such as interactive quizzes, games, and AI-powered learning tools, it is innovative and contributes to continuous, active, and dynamic learning.
“Everybody learns differently.”
Quizlet helps students and teachers collaborate and disseminate information using different multimodal strategies such as flashcards, diagrams, images, and audio uploads. They help users interact with specific types of learning materials such as study sets, definitions, practice questions, and vocabulary.
In essence, the company aims to create a personalized study experience that students love.
With over 400 million study sets created, 1 billion study sessions completed, and over 50 million monthly active users, Quizlet is changing the way the world learns.
How Andrew Sutherland started Quizlet
Quizlet was the brainchild of Andrew Sutherland. Back in 2005, he was a 15-year-old East Bay high-school student. He needed help to study for his French test. His father wanted to make him some flashcards to help him prepare for his lessons.
However, he went ahead and wrote a program for online flashcards. This helped him score well, and the concept became popular among his friends. Subsequently, it led him to the idea of founding Quizlet in October 2005. It was subsequently made public in 2007.
The company was bootstrapped till 2015. Its growth story started in 2016 when Matthew Glotzbach joined the team, and the funding rounds took place subsequently.
Quizlet Business Model
The flagship product of Quizlet is a freemium subscription for creating and sharing flashcards.
Quizlet users can access, create, study, and share millions of flashcards to memorize definitions, stay on top of school work, and learn course modules via study sets. Some of the notable features are the Learning Assistant and Quizlet Live.
While the Learning Assistant is an AI-powered tool that helps students with personalized study plans, Quizlet Live is a fun and competitive game experience for students and teachers alike.
Teachers use Quizlet Live to gamify content, engage students before and after class, and monitor progress.
The company is at the forefront of the secular trend in education, worldwide online content consumption, and relies on subscription sales, classified ads, and premium content as its primary revenue streams.
In addition to the free version, Quizlet offers individual plan upgrades for students and teachers, as well as Group subscriptions for the entire department/class.
Premium accounts cost $3.99/month for student accounts while removing ads and unlocking special features. The subscription-based model works to meet basic and advanced learning goals.
The free account offers a quick and easy way to study with flashcards, interactive quizzes, and practice sets.
Quizlet Plus For Students and Teachers
A Quizlet Plus subscription for students costs $3.99 per month per user. These users can access the Quizlet Learning Assistant to improve their study experience with customized learning paths and smart grading.
Launched in 2017, the Quizlet Learning Assistant is an AI-based personal study companion that helps students connect to what they’re learning, be it course modules or languages, and achieve their goals.
Premium teacher accounts (billed annually at $47.88) unlock all the features and functions that teachers are looking for. It enables educators to record video and audio on study sets, customize diagrams, and create custom groups for team-based learning. This allows educators to spend more time teaching and record student progress easily.
Premium Content Subscriptions
The Premium Content offering is ideal for preparing for standardized tests or language certifications. Their premium study guides help students work smarter and prepare better by saving valuable time.
Premium content covers the full scope of class and course material, including practice questions by topic and practice quizzes. The content is prepared by experts such as publishers and experienced educators.
The premium content subscription can be purchased via their website and provides high-quality answer keys and written detailed explanations to help students understand concepts. It is valid for one year. Each of their paid study guides is meticulously reviewed and updated based on student feedback.
Quizlet offers educators an affordable way to get their whole department onboard. They can purchase group plans for their entire department, and assign courses with ease.
It is also helpful for teachers to share study materials like flashcards and collaborate on lesson plans. The app has helped many teachers save time.
Quizlet Verified Creator Program
The Verified Creator program was launched in 2017 to ensure an educational community with a higher level of quality, accuracy, and authenticity.
To help students build skills and learn successfully, the company partnered with several leading curriculum, language, and test-prep publishers to create curated study resources for students and educators, across all grades and levels.
How Does Quizlet Make Money?
Quizlet works on a subscription-based model. The major sources of revenue are:
Quizlet’s primary sources of revenue come from a variety of subscriptions for students, teachers, and groups.
One can choose to subscribe to a monthly plan or an annual plan. Monthly subscriptions start from $3.99/per month per user for student accounts on Quizlet Plus. The Plus subscriptions for teacher accounts are billed annually at $47.88 per user.
Quizlet also makes revenue from its group subscriptions which are discounted offerings for the entire department/class.
Revenue from advertising is a huge source of income for many companies and it is not unusual that Quizlet would want to take advantage of this.
Quizlet earns a portion of its revenue via advertisers with opportunities to reach specific audiences and target ads based on student location, interest, or learning methods.
Quizlet’s business model relies heavily on advertising partners who serve classified and personalized advertisements to its users according to their interests.
Quizlet also generates revenue by selling premium study guides that are curated and organized by experts.
The premium content subscription can be purchased via their website and provides high-quality answer keys and written detailed explanations to help students understand concepts. It is valid for one year.
Each of their paid study guides is meticulously reviewed and updated based on student feedback.
Quizlet Answers the Call For Remote Learning
The Covid-19 crisis had mostly left schools in a state of shutdown and students and educators with limited options.
In response, Quizlet worked towards providing all educators with free access to Quizlet Teacher subscriptions through June 2020, to fill the gaps left by school closures.
The platform’s adaptive technology helps remote and offline learning. The app provides bite-sized learning activities that make it easier than ever to select and use the best learning format for each subject. The app is made available for both Android and iOS-enabled devices.
Quizlet allows for any time, anywhere learning on all devices, using multiple modes of studying, including flashcards, diagrams, textbook solutions, and interactive quizzes/games.
As a study aid, Quizlet allows registered users to create a set of terms, definitions, diagrams, and more that can be customized to their own needs and is effective for memorization.
Essentially it is a flashcard app with smart features such as handling images, diagrams, different languages, and audio uploads.
Quizlet launched its ‘Diagrams’ feature in 2017. It lets users add an extensive amount of detail to study material- custom text, images, locations, definitions, and audio, via built-in annotation tools.
Quizlet partners with publishers, experienced educators, and experts to offer beautifully designed sets of study materials.
The platform offers seven possible ways to personalize learning experiences, namely, Cards, Learn, Write, Spell, Test, Match, and Gravity.
Match offers a gamified learning experience to learn collaboratively by matching question prompts to answer cards. With the timer mode on, this can double up as a game when working with classmates.
Similarly, in the Gravity level-based game, students are challenged to write the correct answer before the question prompt (in the form of an asteroid, interesting!) falls into the ground.
Live study sets are interactive tools that can replace the typical textbook for lecture classes or supplement textbook work for review sessions.
The Quizlet Live feature aims to put the fun of learning into a fast-paced, high-energy format.
This interactive gamified tool allows students to learn as they compete. Teams need to work together and strategize.
The feature promotes collaborative learning and makes things interesting by allowing users to compete in a ‘multi-player game setting. Correct answers move the team ahead, and wrong answers send the team back to start.
Quizlet Acquisitions, Funding and Valuation
Quizlet operated on a bootstrapping model until it raised its first round of outside capital in 2015. By then, the company had already achieved scale with over 40 million monthly active users.
The Series A round, to the tune of $12 million, was raised to fund its expansion in major geographies. The funding round was led by Union Square Ventures and Costanoa Venture Capital. Altos Ventures, Owl Ventures, and Imagine K-12’s co-founders, Tim Brady and Geoff Ralston.
In February 2018, the company raised additional funds of $20 million in a Series B round, led by Icon Ventures, with participation from Union Square Ventures, Costanoa Ventures and others.
The company plans to expand its international footprint and invest in innovation. Additionally, it also wants to hire people in Western Europe and Asia.
In 2020, the company raised $30 million in a Series C funding round led by General Atlantic. The capital is expected to be used towards driving product development, innovation, and harnessing the power of improved data science and machine learning models, while fueling expansion on a global scale.
As per Matthew Glotzbach, the CEO of Quizlet, the latest funding round raised its value to $1 billion. This was 5x the valuation in 2018. The latest funding round brought the total funding tally of Quizlet to $60 million to date.
The new funding round in 2020 officially makes Quizlet a unicorn with a valuation of $ 1 billion.
In March 2021, Quizlet acquired Slader to complement its own mission to help students learn better with fun and engaging interactive learning experiences.
The acquisition of Slader helps fulfill the growing demand for more educational and supplemental resources, practice problems, and solutions in a variety of subjects across disciplines.
Quizlet Competitors (Competition in the Ed-tech Space)
Effective learning can be a tedious and lengthy task, more so during unprecedented school closures. Quizlet bridged the gap by enabling educators to create and distribute engaging, formative study sets to keep learning fresh and students on-task.
Also in the ed-tech space are competitors and large players like Khan Academy and Coursera.
Khan Academy is a non-profit learning platform that students use to master core subjects. They are one of the largest publishers of online tutorials and practice exercises.
Coursera has been at the forefront of the shift from traditional to online learning, helping millions of people accelerate their careers through their platform and world-class education.
The online degrees and courses offered by the platform are somewhat similar to those offered by universities.
Coursera offers official credentials to demonstrate mastery of a subject, plus the promise of valuable career connections. But they also come with affordability, flexibility, and an ability to fit the study time into busy schedules.
Is Quizlet Profitable?
Quizlet is a profitable company that is growing rapidly. It is focused on providing a high-quality product and making sure that users enjoy every aspect of the Quizlet experience.
This can be vouched for by the fact that the company’s financials have been going strong for the last four years. The company achieved record-high revenue and unprecedented growth, as an increasing number of users searched for new modes of learning that mesh with modern lifestyles.
In 2020, the San Francisco-based startup reported booming user growth figures in the range of 200% to 400%, across its top international markets. It also ranks among the 50 top visited websites in the United States alone.
The popularity of the app can be vouched for by the fact that two-thirds of high schools and colleges in the United States are using Quizlet.
Quizlet has reinforced its place as a leading tech innovator in North America by being recognized on Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500™ list for the second consecutive year.
The company is gradually expanding into AI-driven tutoring with the launch of Quizlet Learn, which it envisions as a core product and growth and profitability driver in the future.
Conclusion: How Does Quizlet Make Money?
To sum up, Quizlet makes money in three ways. The first is through the website’s premium subscription service. For a premium subscription, members get access to a lot of high-quality study material and 24/7 customer support. The other two ways that Quizlet makes money are premium content packages and advertising revenue.
With millions of users worldwide, Quizlet has established itself as a leading educational tool.
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