From San Diego to Boston: ValoreBooks CEO on SimpleTuition Deal

9/17/12Follow @bvbigelow

Back in August, I talked with entrepreneur Jonny Simkin about the sale of HubEdu, his San Diego online college textbook and retailing platform, to San Mateo, CA-based Rafter. Last week, Boston-based SimpleTuition said it had acquired ValoreBooks, another San Diego Web startup that enables students to order more than 18 million titles online.

Financial terms were not disclosed. But I recently talked with ValoreBooks founder Bobby Brannigan, who was among the seven ValoreBooks employees who left San Diego’s perennially mild climate in time to watch the season change in Boston, and I was struck by similarities to the Rafter-HubEdu deal.

Both SimpleTuition and Rafter made their respective acquisitions as part of an expansion strategy intended to reposition each company with a broader offering of products and services for college-age students.

In its statement last week, SimpleTuition said the acquisition of ValoreBooks follows a series of in-house initiatives intended to continue the company’s expansion beyond its initial focus on helping prospective students compare student loans and related financial aid. The company now offers Web-based tools that enable students to also repay their student loans, create an online checking account, and get discount rewards for certain online purchases.

Combined, SimpleTuition and ValoreBooks expect to see more than 10 million unique visitors on their website by the end of 2012.

While SimpleTuition did not announce the … Next Page »

Bruce V. Bigelow is the editor of Xconomy San Diego. You can e-mail him at bbigelow@xconomy.com or call (619) 669-8788 Follow @bvbigelow

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