Valor led the Series Seed for Ecotext, a subscription SaaS platform that helps students get textbooks they need at a price they can afford. Ecotext makes 60,000+ open educational resources available. It aggregates supplemental learning texts from professors, too. Many of you witnessed founder Joel Nkounkou pitching Ecotext at the Fall 2019 Startup Runway.
Since then, the co-founders raised over $100K on a crowd equity platform and built the minimum viable product. In the 3 months after launching their MVP, Ecotext had 3,000 paying monthly subscribers.
Compelling market dynamics
- Volatility in the entire education system because of COVID-19 makes now a great time to launch a more affordable digital platform.
- Schools are rethinking their model. Access to a physical text is more challenging than ever.
- College textbooks are a $14B industry dominated by a few key players.
- From extensive market research, Ecotext founders learned 20% of students purchase new books directly from publishers or through authorized retail channels.
- Textbook prices have increased 85% in the last decade (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Many students rent or obtain their books used.
- Based on our previous investment in Funding U, we have learned that students, especially students from disadvantaged backgrounds, are not as well served by the academic community as they could be. There is room for positive disruption for a growing market.
Co-founders Joel Nkounkou and Nelson Thomas understand this need –it’s a pain they experienced themselves as students of color. “Ultimately, our team seeks to develop strategic deals (B2B) with academic departments, high schools, universities, etc. where every student within that group would be equipped with an ecoText premium account,” explains Joel.
Positive climate impact
The company calculates that for every 15,000 students using the platform, a forest the size of Boston’s Fenway Park is saved every year.
Get involved in the textbook revolution
Ecotext is actively looking for professors, high schools and colleges looking for better learning texts at better prices. Please visit the company’s home page and learn more about the edtech leader.