BookRenter, which along with rival Chegg, is trying to upend the textbook industry by getting college students to rent textbooks rather than buy them, has raised $40 million in a new round of funding, bringing its total backing to more than $56 million. Unlike Chegg, which primarily rents textbooks directly to students through its site, BookRenter has emphasized its partnerships with 560 college bookstores who use its service to rent textbooks under their own brand names.
The funding comes six months after Chegg raised $75 million in its own huge round of funding. That company — which has raised more than $200 million — is considered a possible IPO candidate. Both companies have grown so quickly that they have forced the two top college bookstore operators in the U.S., Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) and Follett Higher Education Group, to launch their own competing textbook rental services.
BookRenter’s latest funding came from Adams Capital Management, Comerica Bank, Focus Ventures, Lighthouse Capital Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Storm Ventures. There are some more details in the release and a detailed write-up about the funding in TechCrunch here.