In September 2010, the precursor to OneClass, called Notesolution, was founded by four undergraduate students from the University of Toronto as a way to provide students with additional learning resources in the form of course notes. One year later in October 2011, Notesolution acquired StudyMonkey, a competitor with a similar note-sharing platform.
Notesolution raised $400,000 in 2012 and participated in FounderFuel’s Accelerator Program in Montreal. In 2013 OneClass raised $1.6M from a Series A led by SAIF Partners, Real Ventures, and several other angel investors totaling $2.3M in funding over three rounds. In 2018, OneClass co-founders were named in Forbes 30 Under 30 list for leaders in education. As of 2018, OneClass has over 11 million pages of study documents, and has been used by more than 2.2 million students in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
OneClass uses a freemium model where users can contribute learning material by uploading notes and study documents in exchange for site currency, or “credits.” Users can use credits to unlock other documents on the site for viewing or downloading, or use the credits to purchase gift cards. Alternatively, users can choose to pay for a subscription. Additionally, OneClass offers an app where users can ask questions and get help from other students and tutors.Note takers in specific courses at several universities are able to earn up to $470 per course for their notes. They are able to take more than one course per school, or sit in on a class they are not taking, but instead auditing. OneClass has expanded the course offerings each semester with this offer currently covering over 1000 courses. The highest earners in this program are making upwards of $2000 per semester.
Opinions are mixed about the concept of students sharing study content such as lecture notes and exam study guides. Some students, such as University of Saskatchewan Students' Union VP academic Kelsey Topola, say that notes are students' intellectual property, and they can share them. There are others such as Professor Camille Hernandez-Ramdwar of Ryerson University who points out that students who post their notes may not have the correct interpretation of the material, which can result in a problem for other students. In November and December of 2012, Red Bull and OneClass (Notesolution) provided Canadian students with Exam Survival Kits that included more than 20,000 cans of Red Bull.