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Friday, April 11, 2014

Rental Firm Making Inroads with Students

Packback has received plenty of attention since its founders earned a $250,000 investment on the ABC program “Shark Tank.” The startup is an e-textbook platform that allows students to rent titles for 24 hours at an average cost of $5.

Founded by a pair of Illinois State University undergrads in 2012, the company already features 2,500 titles, has deals with the University of Chicago Press and Sage Publications, and provided content for a pilot program with McGraw-Hill Higher Education last fall.

During the pilot, 27% of students on campus rented or purchased a digital textbook from Packback. That percentage was considered successful since a student survey found that 47% said they already had the course material when the program was launched.

“We’re disrupting the used-book market disruption and paving the way to organic student adoption of the next great learning tech products,” co-founder Mike Shannon told The Washington Post, “all the while kicking back significant new revenue streams to learning content providers.”

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