Students rent movies … so why not textbooks?

As internet startup prepares for its third academic year in the textbook rental business, the business is growing rapidly, reports the New York Times. With textbooks marking the largest expense for students, after tuition, room, and board, and with their cost soaring, that’s not surprising. Jim Safka, a former chief executive of and who recently was recruited to run Chegg, said the company’s revenue in 2008 was more than $10 million. This year, Chegg surpassed that in January alone. Based on that kind of growth, the company was able to raise $25 million in December from some of Silicon Valley’s top venture capitalists. "The textbook business was wildly inefficient," said Mike Maples Jr., managing partner at Maples Investments, a fund that invests in young start-ups. With demand for good deals on textbooks running high, Chegg’s success comes in large part from being able to address those inefficiencies. While Chegg primarily rents books, it is also essentially acting as a kind of "market maker," gathering books from sellers at the end of a semester and renting–or sometimes selling–them to other students at the start of a new one…

Click here for the full story

"(Required)" indicates required fields