College textbooks are expensive! That’s why Kasey Gandham and Mike Shannon have created an e-textbook micro-lending service to help students cut costs. Will the sharks invest in their company on
Shark Tank PackBack Books Update
- Entrepreneurs: Kasey Gandham, Mike Shannon
- Business: Digital textbook lending service
- Ask: $200,000 in exchange for 10% equity
- Result: $250,000 in exchange for 20% equity
- Sharks: Mark Cuban
According to Mike and Kasey, the average cash-strapped student can spend $1,200 each year on textbooks. What’s worse, many of the books are only needed for a short time! Their company, PackBack Books, offers students an online platform with a wide selection of digital textbooks to rent on an as-needed basis for a small fee.
A student logs into the site, and selects the required textbook. They then make a payment, and the book becomes available for use instantly, costing the student around $5. In their beta test, they found that students only needed to rent a text four times.
Kasey said that they were already working with a big-name U.S. textbook manufacturer to get PackBack Books for as many courses as possible. Their hopes were that the other three big textbook publishers would join their platform. At the time, all the textbook companies had digital textbooks available to purchase or rent for a semester. The guys said their service was more affordable, as the students only paid to use it when they needed to.
The major drawback was that the textbook publishers received 75% percent of Kasey and Mike’s company revenue. However, the only reason the publishers were on board in the first place was because second-hand textbooks took a huge bite out of their sales. By allowing Kasey and Mike to offer the digital books on their website, they were able to hold onto just a little more money.
Daymond John was the first shark to go out, saying he didn’t have enough experience in the industry. Barbara Corcoran thought the company was about to be history. Kevin O’Leary said that they were underestimating the time it would take to bring other publishers on board. Robert Herjavec said he didn’t share the company’s vision. All four sharks were out.
That left Mark Cuban, who gave the guys credit for the smart concept and said he was familiar with the industry, but the 10% equity offer wasn’t enough. They countered him with 17.5% percent equity in exchange for $200,000. Mark countered with $250,000 in exchange for 20%, and Kasey and Mike accepted the deal. What happened next? Find out in our PackBack Books update!
We have great news to share in our PackBack Books update! In 2018, the company raised $4.2 million and by 2019, they had more than $10 million in funding. They expected that by the end of the 2019 academic year, a half-million students at over 200 universities would be using their services. They went on to discount their service and drop the “Books” from their name, and PackBack now offers a variety of AI-powered college classroom software.
Would you like to learn about the other companies that appeared on Season 5 Episode 21? Follow the links below for our other company updates from the episode.
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Jennifer is an avid Shark Tank fan that has been watching the show for years. She serves as Senior Editor at Shark Tank Recap and ensures that all our information is accurate and that our posts are up to date. Her favorite Shark Tank products are Le-Glue and Ring!