Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Student Startup Battles High Cost of Textbooks

Anthony Markey, a senior at The University of Rhode Island and Laionel Cintron, a graduate of Stetson University 16' have teamed up to create Libby, the newest textbook startup. According to NBC's review of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, textbook prices have risen at three times the rate of inflation from January 1977 to June 2015, a 1,041 percent increase. Together, Markey and Cintron are tackling the problem of high priced college textbooks. Libby is an online platform that facilitates fair student to student textbook transactions and also helps students find the cheapest prices on textbooks from popular textbook providers such as Chegg. The platform is first being rolled out at The University of Rhode Island and Johnson & Wales University Providence which will each have its own Campus Marketplace. It is on the Campus Marketplace where students partake in the peer to peer transactions. Each marketplace can only be accessed by the students of the particular university. This helps keep each marketplace safe by ensuring meetups are only between students of the same campus. All transactions are facilitated online; this removes the hand to hand exchange of cash which makes the process safer. The payments are secured by Braintree, a PayPal company. After the transaction is processed, the seller is able to message the buyer through Libby's platform. Libby guides the buyer in sending the first message to the seller with questions and locations on campus to arrange a meetup. The buyer's funds are held in escrow until the seller redeems a transaction code that they receive from the buyer during the meetup. Using a transaction code to release payments allows for a risk-free experience. Libby even offers sellers the ability to receive their payment directly to their bank or Venmo accounts. Libby is currently prepping for its beta launch which is planned for the first week of December 2016. If you’d like to learn more about this new startup coming soon to college campuses, visit


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