Key Individual:
Abed Tau

Who can benefit from this study?
Civic Tech initiatives

Organisation responsible for case study:
Name: Tuta-me

Org. type: For-Profit/business


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Post Status:
Main Project Location: Johannesburg
Project country/countries: South Africa
Project dates:  –
Last updated: 23 March 2022

Brief overview of the Case Study   

Tuta-Me is an online learning programme for Grade 8 – 12 learners studying Maths, Physical Science and English. Tuta-Me developed an online platform that aims to promote independent learning and deeper understanding. The platform gives learners access to CAPS aligned content, notes, past papers, videos, textbooks, and an online tutor. This is done through bursary programme support and online learning platform, Mobi-Tuta.

The challenge or problem

Students often have a challenge accessing additional assistance with their schoolwork, such as access to tutors, notes, past papers, textbooks etc.

The solution that was implemented

Established in 2016, Tuta-Me initially specialised in connecting learners who need academic assistance with highly qualified tutors. However, since then the platform has grown to serve a greater need than just being the “Uber” of tutoring.
The Tutor-Me platform allows the learner to book a qualified tutor based on their academic needs. The learner and the tutor are then able to arrange a session, in-person or online, at the time and place suitable to both. Tuta-Me, then ensures that the tutor conducts the session professionally and to the benefit of the learner.
“Tutors set their own rates, availability and the areas that they can tutor in. “Students are then able to find a tutor based on their needs in terms of subject, area and time. A student can then rate a tutor, which ensures that quality is maintained,” said Hyslop.

What results were achieved?

Abel Tau Co-Founder of Tuta-me had returned from his visit to Silicon Valley in San Francisco when he was inspired to start an Uber of “something” in South Africa. After brainstorming, Tau and Hyslop decided to focus on introducing technology into the way that tutoring services were delivered. From there, Tuta-Me was born. Dylan Hyslop, said Tuta-Me started with two people, but had grown to seven people.
The app was developed at the beginning of 2015 and taken to market by co-founders Abed and Dylan in March 2016. The startup became known in 2016 when it came second at the Hack Jozi Challenge, and soon raised an angel funding to quicken the development of the solutions.

Lessons and recommendations

After 18 months of its launch, Tuta-me had to pivot, in 2018 they had to switch their business model to a B2B model to focus on fewer clients with bigger impact. Now, it offers online learning programmes to Grade 8-12 learners in subjects such as Maths, Physical Science and English, and allows corporate entities to sponsor tutoring sessions for bursary students. Hyslop told Disrupt Africa the pivot was primarily for economic reasons, with the Tuta-Me team having overestimated the B2C buying power in South Africa.
“The goal is to keep building our technology and learning platform, growing in content and partners which help spread the availability of the platform. Our ultimate goal is to get out learning platform to all school users in the country for free,” said Hyslop.

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