The textbook rental market is heating up as school season gets in full swing. Chegg recently made its first acquisition of CourseRank, and Barnes and Noble is also playing in the space. College textbook rental startup BookRenter is also taking part in this growing market, reporting 725 percent growth in revenue from textbook rentals since last September. The company says that revenue is expected to be in the range of $20 to $50 million in 2010. Of course, this is still behind competitor Chegg, which is expected to see revenues in the range of $130 million this year.
Like its competitors, Bookrenter wants to be the Netflix of textbook rentals. By renting textbooks, Students are able to save money by loaning textbooks for a fixed duration, usually a semester, and end up spending only the fraction of the cost of outright purchases. The system is simple: a student searches for a book on the website using a title or ISBN, and places an order by selecting a rental period and delivery option. The book(s) are delivered complete with return UPS labels for easy shipping.
BookRenter also partnering with a number of colleges to set up a virtual rental store on their sites. Partners have access to the same selection of textbooks available on BookRenter’s site (which are electronically sourced from the largest textbook suppliers.) Since March, BookRenter has partnered with 260 campus bookstores, serving over 3.2 million students.
Of course, BookRenter, which just raised $10 million in new funding, is playing in a competitive space. But from the way Chegg and Bookrenter are growing in terms of sales, there cloud be plenty of revenue to go around.