Chegg’s $2.2 Million Golden Egg

Posted Jan 18, 2007

Chegg (also known as Chicken & Egg) has found themselves viciously chasing after college book stores for competition. Chegg is fighting its competition so intensely that Gabriel Venture Partners and a previous investor of Chegg, Mike Maples decided to arm Chegg with $2.2 million in funding. College professors have the power to increase or decrease the market for textbooks and prices for new editions of books could cost $100 or more. This is why Chegg is becoming popular among college students all over the nation.

Chegg allows students to buy/sell other school-related items for free as well. The market for textbooks and school-related items is $11 billion in revenues. “If we can take just 5% of that market, we’ll be very happy,” stated Rick Bolander, member of the Chegg Board and Gabriel Venture Partners co-founder.

From a business standpoint, Chegg is facing direct competition from the eBays, the Amazons, and the Half.coms type of websites that are also out there. Bolander mentioned that Chegg’s distinctive feature is that they cater to locals. “Everyone from Google (GOOG) to Yahoo! (YHOO) and MSN (MSFT) is going local, and that is an area of strength for us,” stated Bolander.

In order for users to join, a university e-mail address is required (to prevent spam). Fortunately, I still have access to my university account, so I decided to check out the software. Here is what the internal UI looks like: