Notehall

SEASON 1 EPISODE 8
PitchOnline document marketplace that enables students to buy and sell class notes
Entrepreneur D.J. Stephan and Sean Conway
Asked For $90,000 for 10%
Deal $90,000 for 25%
SharkBarbara Corcoran
StatusACQUIRED

Company Background

What is Notehall?

Notehall is an online academic marketplace that enables students and tutors to achieve academic and financial success. Notehall takes 50% of note sales and is a win-win for all involved.

Who Owns Notehall?

Sean Conway and D.J. Stephan together with Justin Miller and Fadi Chalfoun, developed Notehall in San Francisco in 2007. Justin Miller is the co-founder/president of Pillow and Showplace.

Fadi Chalfoun is a software engineer at Intuit. D.J.Stephan is the co-founder/advisor at SkySlopes and a former sales manager at American Mutual Financial Services.

Founder’s Story

The foursome met at the University of Arizona. Within eight months of launching, Notehall was used by forty percent of students having 6,000 customers and making $30,000 in sales.

The co-founders were Business Week’s 2009 America’s Best Young Entrepreneurs finalists. In 2009, Notehall received an investment boost of $500,000 from investors.

By 2011, Notehall was forecast to be in over 250 universities, having 750,000 users, a growth rate of 400%, and valued at $900 000. Conway was credited by the Wall Street Journal for getting funding during a recession and is a positive innovator who loves building companies that nurture entrepreneurship while making a positive impact.

Notehall was intended to be a supplement for students who were serious about their studies. At the time, there were ethical and legal concerns surrounding Notehall but these were later resolved.

What Happened to Notehall After Shark Tank Update

Is Notehall Still in Business?

Notehall, which started as an online platform in 2008 for college students to buy or share class notes or study aids, has been acquired. In June 2011, Chegg, a textbook rental company and online education provider, purchased it, with the company valued at $3.7 million in equity.

They’ve since incorporated the software into their menu of offerings. Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Chegg makes its money selling subscriptions and learning services through its online platform.

Interestingly, one of the key co-founders, Sean Conway, went on to work for Chegg post its acquisition. He’s since gone on to found Pillow, a company specializing in a niche in the travel industry. Pillow was subsequently acquired by Expedia.

Today, you can consider companies like CourseHero and OneClass as competitors. The reason for this is because both offer almost identical study aid services, based on a subscription model. It must be noted, all three offer close collaboration with universities and other faculties.

Read 5 Comments

5 thoughts on “Notehall”

  1. How is this legal? As an instructor, I feel I should be entitled to control the sale of notes (derivative works) created from my lectures.

    How would Barbara Corcoran or any shark respond if they gave a seminar on a topic they were knowledgeable about, and found out someone had taken notes and was selling them?

    My guess is the shark would be reaching out via their attorney for a little cease and desist.

    Reply
    • You want in on the sales of your students notes? Thats some greedy crap right there.

      Using that logic you should be paying every teacher and professor you ever had a royalty straight from your salary since youre making money on something they taught you.

      Reply

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