Over the past three years, both education insiders and venture capitalists have watched with interest as Chegg has grown and developed. In 2010, the company raised more than $140 million, spending an estimated $50 million of that money on six acquisitions over a two year time period. But where was the textbook-rentals company going?
When Chegg leapt onto the scene and pioneered the textbook-rental market, the company effectively changed the market, and reports now estimate that rentals represent 15-20% of all textbook purchases. With new players entering the field, the ability to grow a company through this channel was slowly closing and this young company had to find a way to reinvent itself.
The addition of Dan Rosenweig, he of Yahoo! and Guitar Hero, set to transform the company from a one-trick rental pony to a college hub assisting students with scheduling classes, finding tutors, sourcing affordable textbooks, completing difficult assignments, and more. Beginning this week, students will get a look into the new Chegg.com.
The release started with an article in Business Week and was followed up with a personal invitation from Mr. Rosenweig to all current Chegg customers in the Chegg Salad email newsletter. It’s too early to tell if students will embrace the Facebook-like cloud and social features that allow them to store all their course information in one single place, but the move is significant as it positions Chegg to provide all the services form the companies they have acquired all in one single location.