All kinds of interesting companies show up at Shark Tank, but only a few manage to become successful once they’re off the show. Notehall, who appeared in Season 1 Episode 108 of Shark Tank US, had the judges fighting over them, but in the end, managed to make their company successful without their help.
Taking proper notes can not only help understand the syllabus better but also eventually help in achieving good grades in exams. Notehall was a company that revolved around the idea of creating a platform where students could easily upload their notes and even commercialize them to other students who needed them.
While the Sharks were confused and unsure at first, especially considering the huge valuation at $90,000 for 10%, Barbara Corcoran ended up going forward with a 25% at $90,000 deal. However, it turns out that the founders behind Notehall never accepted the deal, and the concept was instead bought by Chegg, a platform where students can avail of all kinds of educational help.
Notehall has been a part of Chegg since, but its founders and creators, like Sean Conway and D.J. Stephan, are now the founders of multiple other companies that have been very profitable.
Notehall: About The Company
Sean Conway, Justin Miller, Fadi Chalfoun, and D.J. Stephan had come up with Notehall back in 2008. Students could just log onto the website and start selling their notes to others. When this fresh concept was introduced at the University of Arizona for the first time, almost 40% of the students there started using it.
Seeing the way Notehall was so widely used by their students, in 2008, the University of Arizona decided to get into a partnership with Notehall. It was in 2009 that Notehall appeared in Shark Tank’s episode 108. Not many educational companies were showing up back then, so Notehall stood out with its unique idea.
All of the sharks seemed interested in Sean and Stephan’s concept, but after hearing the valuation of 10% at $90,000, many of them backed off. Barbara Corcoran was interested in the idea and decided to propose a deal. A few weeks or months later, the founders of Notehall canceled the deal and sold Notehall for millions.
After uploading their notes, students could purchase, sell, and transfer notes to anyone else on the website. The company would be receiving 60% of whatever fee was collected in the process. The profiting sides in this case would be diligent students and those lacking behind.
However, this concept had some inconsistencies because professors felt this was violating their Intellectual property rights. They worked hard to create special classes and lectures for their students, and for these notes to be sold off without their permission was not right. Chegg now also allows professors to join the platform and help other students, and the issue is no longer as much of a problem.
Notehall’s Net Worth in 2023
Notehall ended up making its founders millionaires when it was first sold off. Although Barbara Corcoran’s deal would have given them the money and brains to make Notehall work, their decision to hold back benefitted them greatly in the end.
Chegg paid the founders of Notehall around $3.7 million in equity. With a net worth of $3.7 million, Notehall can be considered one of the most successful early companies that made it to the first season of Shark Tank. There’s still no competition to the likes of Scrub Daddy and Bombas, though.
After the deal, D.J. Stephan and Sean Conway became millionaires and were even hired by Chegg to work in their company. Notehall may no longer be solely theirs, but it is now part of a company with a market cap of almost $976.7 million (at present).
Where Is Notehall Now?
Notehall isn’t an independent company and instead has been completely incorporated into Chegg. Since Chegg already has a bunch of tools like tutoring, Writing, Math checkers, and internships, Notehall fits right into the company and has become one of its features.
The co-founders behind Notehall have all moved onto different paths, and most of them were seen coming up with new brands that were just as innovative as Notehall. Sean Conway went on to become the Product Leader at Chegg once Notehall was acquired by them. Conway later started a new company named Pillow, which focuses on making travel and global citizenry easier.
Fadi Chalfoun, who was the CTO of Notehall, became a Senior Software Engineer after the acquisition. At present, Fadi occupies a similar position at Intuit. D.J. Stephan co-founded SkySlope, a company in Sacramento, California. Justin Miller Co-founded Pillow with Sean Conway, but at present, he’s busy managing Showplace as its CEO.
All of Notehall’s founders went on to find great positions for themselves. Chegg continues to grow as a one-stop place for all things related to notes, homework, quizzes, and exams. Whether it was the Shark Tank effect or the interesting concept, Notehall’s future turned out to be great for everyone involved.