Packback, a Chicago-based eTextbook provider for college students, announced today it has secured $1.5 million in funding led by Hyde Park Angels with participation from Wintrust Ventures, TiE angels, and follow-on investments from angel investors like Mark Cuban and Howard Tullman.
These funds will help accelerate Packback's continued growth and product development — particularly Packback Answers, a new engagement tool built to help both students and professors interact in a digital environment. Packback Answers is a virtual study group that allows students and professors to post questions and answers to online communities built specifically around the textbooks they use in class.
"Now, we're able to move into the next generation of Packback. We're able to not only help students save on their textbooks, but also help them get better overall value for a different kind of relationship with that textbook," said Packback co-founder Jessica Tenuta.
Packback has grown into a ten-person team since its launch out of Illinois State University in November 2011. Today, it has presence on over seventy college campuses across the country.
"In the fall semester, we've got a new deal signed — we'll have about 80-85% of content coverage on regular semester eTextbook rentals, which is giving us a way to market to students in a way we've never been able to before," Tenuta said.
Besides the official launch of Packback Answers, Packback also recently completed a total rennovation of their website. The consumer-facing site is now responsive, scalable, and customizable. Both of these ventures support Packback's overall mission: pushing for student afforability and accessibility both in and out of the classroom.
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