BookRenter Raises $10 Million More For Online Textbook Rentals

4 Comments

Credit: Corbis

More cash is flowing into online textbook rentals: BookRenter, which lets college students rent textbooks so they don’t have to buy them, has raised $10 million in its second round of funding, seven months after raising $6 million in a first round.

The market is getting increasingly crowded — even Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS), the largest operator of college bookstores in the U.S., started renting textbooks at many of its stores earlier this year. Another rival, Chegg, is using $112 million it raised late last year to fund an aggressive expansion.

BookRenter, however, says it’s still seeing “remarkable company growth of more than 400 percent year-over-year.” Remains to be seen if sales of e-readers geared for the college market, such as the Kno, which was unveiled this week and which will likely also promise access to cheaper textbooks, will ultimately change that.

The new round was led by Norwest Venture Partners; Storm Ventures and Adams Capital Management also participated. More in the release (via PeHub).

4 Comments

Dan

All the new book rental companies should do well because of the high cost of textbooks and the low buy back prices most bookstores offer.

johnkilby

Textbook rentals are starting to catch on – the high cost of textbooks coupled with students’ preference for a real book over digital have driven rental demand over the last year.

That demand has highlighted a few issues:

1) Shipping speed. It may shock you to learn that many college students don’t plan ahead and buy their books well before they need them.

2) Selection. Popular textbooks have gone out of stock quickly at some textbook rental sites.

3) Terms. Some colleges offer 30 day classes, while textbook rental sites offer only four month or longer terms.

Several textbook rental sites have addressed all of these difficulties. the best I’ve found is National Book Rentals at http://nationalbookrentals.com. Bigger selection, more shipping options (at a reasonable price), and shorter rental terms (at a lower price).

guest

The largest operator of college bookstores in the US are colleges and universities, followed by Follett Inc. and then Barnes and Noble.

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