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Chegg goes public with its crusade to break the college textbook racket — $150M IPO

Image Credit: MegRobertsonNY/Flickr

Online textbook rental company Chegg filed to go public this morning, showing that the ed tech industry can, in fact, catch on.

Chegg plans on raising $150 million in its initial public offering, according to an SEC filing. The company says that it has around 180,000 textbook titles available for rent and that 3.7 million students completed purchases in 2012. It also serves 40 percent of all “college-bound high school seniors,” according to the filing.

In 2012, Chegg brought in $213.3 million but retained a net loss of $49 million.

The Santa Clara-based company was founded in 2005. Its founders hoped to help students with the huge financial burden of buying and reselling college textbooks. Textbook prices are often hugely cost-prohibitive and can run a cash-strapped collegian up to $1,000 a semester. Chegg provided a quick online way of renting textbooks, decreasing the price in addition to the time spent waiting in those long bookstore lines.

Over time, Chegg decided to expand into other forms of online education resources. After acquiring a number of different companies to help with this, Chegg now offers homework help, scholarship searches, and university-specific course reviews and planners.

After Apple, Inkling, Kno, and others came out with online textbooks, Chegg also created an eReader where you can buy specific textbook chapters, which also reduces the burden on students’ wallets.

The company also added four new board members today — executives from Shutterfly, Facebook, Kohlberg Kravis Robers & Co, and the San Francisco 49ers.

Chegg raised over $200 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Insight Venture Partners, Gabriel Venture Partners, Ace Limited, and Pinnacle Ventures.

We have contacted Chegg and will update this story upon hearing back.

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