Amazon.com, which is moving in multiple directions vis-à-vis local, has agreed to buy TeachStreet, the service for matching teachers and students. Amazon’s interest appears to be less in TeachStreet than in the underlying e-commerce platform for SMBs. The platform already is being used by The Washington Post for its Service Alley SMB leads service.
TeachStreet had raised just over $3 million from Madrona Venture Group, Bezos Expeditions, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar and others. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has obviously been involved form the beginning of the company.
The connection between Amazon and TeachStreet is partially personal. TeachStreet founder David Schappell previously worked for Bezos from 1998 to 2004. GeekWire reports that the entire TeachStreet team has already joined Amazon Local, which is now in 40 markets. It reports that TeachStreet itself is being shut down.
Schappell also told Geekwire that he’s pumped to be “working on things that millions of people use.” At TeachStreet, he said they had been “pushing the peanut up the hill for a long time.”
In 2008, Schappell told BIA/Kelsey that he eventually expected TeachStreet to evolve into all kinds of expert services. “We’re helping to find local experts near you,” he says. Categories could include a full range of advisory services, such as career counseling, or kitchen remodeling. “You might need someone to guide you through some of the steps. Or you may want some help negotiating to buy a car.”