Due to the increasing costs of university textbooks, which have risen by four times the rate of inflation since 1977, many students have turned to second-hand, rented or even pirated copies to make ends meet. This has led to publishers increasing their prices in order to recover lost revenues, aggravating the problem.
UK-based edtech BibliU has raised £1.3 million to deliver affordable and accessible course online books for universities, libraries and other higher education institutions. The investment comes from Wealth Club clients under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS). The cash infusion came into the third tranche of BibliU’s £15 million Series B round. The funds invested will enable the company to continue its expansion across the U.K. and U.S., develop new products and secure additional publisher partnerships.
Launched in 2015 at the University of Oxford’s startup incubator, BibliU aims to address the problem faced by many students when paying for the increasingly expensive learning materials required for their courses.
The platform is currently used by 112 leading universities from Oxford, Cambridge to Cornell and Phoenix in the U.S. it allows higher educations institutions to license textbooks and courseware, primarily in digital format – for all students for a single, low, per student or per class fee, rather than having to set to separate contracts with each publisher. The company claims students can access content on-demand through BibliU’s marketplace – the digital equivalent of a library – saving up to 50% in costs.
Dave Sherwood, BibliU’c co-founder and CEO said: “The latest round of investment in BibiliU will only serve to further our mission to provide high-quality, accessible and vital learning resources at an affordable cost. This funding will help facilitate this businesses continued growth be developing new technology that will further streamline processes for publishes and academic institutions and, most importantly, improve the learning experience and outcomes for all students, regardless of their individual needs or circumstances.”
Alex Davies, CEO and founder of Wealth Club added: “BibliU is a great example of a company solving long existent problems with modern day tools. It allows hundreds of thousands of students to access course materials at little or no costs, helping to improve the accessibility of education while also improving learning outcomes. This in turn has delivered great commercial success, with a proven product in a growing market and the pandemic has only accelerated demand.”