As I recall it, the used textbook process in your average college town went something like this, once upon a time: take something you paid approximately $120 for, re-highlight selected passages of it and (hopefully) consume about three-quarters or more of its contents, then head off campus to a kindly hippie in a patchouli-scented bookstore who would smilingly scalp you and provide you about one-tenth of your initial investment back. Repeat.
Utah-based CampusBookRentals.com is doing something to cut the middleman out of the loop, and it’s saving college kids a walk in the process. Having taken care of books for students on nearly 6,000 campuses, CEO Alan Martin said the $20 million the company just raised from investors including Level Equity, Five Elms Capital and Cherokee & Walker won’t likely go toward buying out any competitors so much as it will go toward hiring new employees. The company has grown from about 30 employees a year ago to a target this year of 120.
Martin said CampusBookRentals will continue to expand its reach among traditional colleges and universities, but declined to provide a target for how many. The $20 million fundraise he and his company just took, amazingly, is its first formal round of funding, putting the total funding for CampusBookRentals at less than one-tenth of, say, Chegg. Previous capital came from family members and debt financing, Martin said.
“We could fit in a lot of wheelhouses,” he said, when asked if he felt that his company could be bought. “We have raised very little money.”