Thursday, June 03, 2010

BookRenter garners $10 million in venture capital

Northwest Venture Partners have added $10 million to that already invested by Storm Ventures and Adams Capital Management bringing the start-up's funding to $16 million.

Textbooks are expensive. Most of the time, students only need the textbook for a short time. College textbook rental startup BookRenter is trying to make the process of buying textbooks more affordable by loaning books to students for a fixed duration. In essence, BookRenter wants to be the Netflix of textbook rentals.

Additionally, BookRenter has opened its operation to other sites to allow any college or business to launch its own online textbook rental store meaning colleges, universities or campus bookstores, will be able to use BookRenter to set up a virtual store on their sites. Since March, BookRenter has enabled 75 bookstore partners serving more than 1.3 million students.

This is a great idea, but I am not sure what impact eTextbooks will have on the model. With the proliferation of Kindles and Kindle-like devices as well as the iPad which has already sold more than 2 million units, it would seem to me that print textbooks might be on the endangered list.

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