Confirming in part our initial report last month, Chegg has announced that it has closed a Series C funding round led by famed venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to the tune of $25 million. The round also saw participation from Foundation Capital along with existing investors Gabriel Venture Partners and Primera Capital, who likely helped boost the round beyond the $15 million figure we were hearing about in November.
Chegg is a textbook rental startup that lets college students rent books for a fraction of the price they’d normally pay at their campus bookstores. After identifying the books they need on the website, Chegg sends students their textbooks within eight business days. Once they’re done with the books at the end of the term, students simply toss them in a pre-paid box and ship them back to Chegg. The service is available nationwide at 4,000 universities, and has reportedly saved some students as much as $650 per quarter in textbook fees.
It’s a great service and one that will likely spread like wildfire once more students realize how much money they can save. Textbooks have been notoriously overpriced on college campuses for years, and even the textbook buyback programs found at most student unions are blatant ripoffs, often paying as little as little as 15% or 20% of a book’s original price. With rates that put these programs to shame, Chegg seems like a sure winner. That is, until textbooks finally go digital and students can just throw them on their Kindles.