Murray, KY (Vocus) July 6, 2010
South Eastern Book Co. (“South Eastern Book” or “SEB”) today announced that it is making an equity investment in College Book Renter (“CBR” or the “Company”). The $10 million Series A investment is in the form of equity funding from SEB. In addition, CBR recently secured $7.5 million in debt financing. With this $17.5 million, the two companies plan to work together to leverage SEB’s wholesaling and distribution capabilities to support and enhance CBR’s extraordinary growth in the textbook rental industry, while also maintaining SEB’s current focus on providing affordable used textbooks to thousands of college bookstores around the country.
Founded in early 2009 and funded through seed capital previously provided by private investors, College Book Renter has grown into one of the largest and most rapidly growing online textbook rental companies. By offering textbook rentals at up to 75% below their purchase price and providing best-in-class customer service, CBR has already helped to make college more affordable by saving students millions of dollars. In its first year of operations, CBR has already established itself as one of the top three players in the college book rental industry. For the year-to-date 2010, CBR is on pace to exceed 2009 revenue and earnings by more than tenfold.
Based in Murray, KY and founded over 30 years ago, South Eastern Book is a privately-owned wholesale textbook distribution company focused on providing high quality used books to college bookstores around the country. In addition to reaping the benefits of the growing rental market, partnering with CBR will allow SEB to increase its catalog of used textbooks available to longtime bookstore customers, while also affording these customers access to the rental market in order to fulfill their students’ needs.
“College Book Renter has already established itself as one of the leading providers of online textbook rental services to students in the U.S. By combining CBR’s capabilities with our current operations, we are very excited to provide a necessary platform to our core customers by allowing them to purchase, sell, and rent college textbooks under the SEB umbrella,” said Chuck Jones, CEO of SEB. “This strong round of Series A funding and debt financing is a testament not only to the strength of the CBR brand and its business model, but also to SEB’s commitment to fulfilling the needs of its core customers.” In conjunction with SEB’s investment, Jones will assume the role of CEO and President of College Book Renter.
“As college tuition and textbook costs continue to rise exponentially, students and parents are searching for new and innovative ways to save money wherever possible,” Jones added. “By combining SEB’s book industry knowledge, warehousing and distribution expertise, and relationships with CBR’s unique business model, we are confident in our ability to grow CBR into the dominant player in the industry. We look forward to partnering with CBR’s management team to make it happen.”
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