HubEdu Departs San Diego’s Downtown Incubator After Bay Area Buyout
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with SwoopThat, but to apply those lessons to serve all the major constituencies in higher ed—students, faculty, administrators.”
Earlier this year, the startup and its four employees refocused their efforts to develop some new software tools that would made it easier for campus bookstores to source textbook orders, compare prices, and gain insights about student purchasing decisions, among other things.
“By forming a completely new company, we were better able to serve the college community while still meeting our goal of lowering prices for students,” he says. “The point we’re trying to get across is that HubEdu is not SwoopThat, and that we do care about schools and the higher ed community.”
It’s a more collaborative (and conciliatory) strategy than what you hear from most Internet startups out to disrupt their industries. And in a curious bit of coincidence, the company that acquired HubEdu also changed its identity earlier this year in a similar strategic pivot. San Mateo, CA-based BookRenter, which raised $40 million in a Series C financing round last year, formed a new company in February called Rafter to expand its mission with a more-encompassing technology platform for sourcing and managing course materials. Instead of undercutting the campus bookstore, the idea is to partner with colleges and universities—providing the kind of cloud-based technology that schools need to manage their supply chain, along with specialized software to fit other education-related needs.
“They also saw that they needed to serve schools and the higher ed community,” Simkin says, noting that the HubEdu and Rafter rebranding moves occurred within days of each other.