Chegg ditches books (or at least, sending them)

Photo of Chegg sunglasses on top of a textbook

This is old news (well, from last week), but I didn’t see it while I was in San Francisco for interviews. Chegg, the company that made its name buying and selling textbooks, is offloading the actual warehousing and shipping of books to the Ingram Content Group. I suppose it make sense, but I’ve still been surprised to see how fast they’re diversifying and going digital. These sunglasses are from an international education conference I attended this summer. Apparently they’re growing into study abroad as well.

It’s funny that the Times wrote about it as a solution to negative news (focusing on plummeting share prices), while Edsurge, in their brief write-up, only mentions that Chegg’s digital revenue is blowing up.

This might be an important date for startups interested in creating marketplaces for students. I’d played with the idea of creating a matching service for students to buy and sell books when I was in grad school at NYU. I never really pursued it (but I’m very glad to see that an NYU undergrad is doing something similar). If the biggest player in the textbook marketplace field is dropping books, we’re probably at a point where campus marketplaces are going to be either digital or peer-to-peer only.

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