Perlego - Latin for ‘I read’ - was founded in 2017 by two new graduates who wanted to create a subscription service for student textbooks. Matthew Davis and Gauthier Van Malderen recalled how they would often pay up to £300 for a book, only to “read one assigned chapter and then never use it again”. A 2020 survey conducted in the US found that 65% of college students had “held off buying school textbooks because of the prices, despite knowing that it would likely impact how well they did in the courses”.
Now the start-up, which allows users to pay a monthly subscription to access textbooks, has raised $50 million USD (or £38million) to build on its business. Started in London, it now has 400,000 subscribers who can access around 850,000 textbooks, works of fiction, and other titles that students are assigned at universities around the world. They work with around 5,000 publishers, including but not limited to Harvard University Press, Routledge, and Cambridge University Press. This makes Perlego the world’s largest online textbook subscription service.
But what does it cost? Well, users who sign up get a two-week free trial before either paying £12 monthly, or paying annually which works out at £8 per month.
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