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.

BookRenter has continued to … Next Page »

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Bruce V. Bigelow was the editor of Xconomy San Diego from 2008 to 2018. Read more about his life and work here. Follow @bvbigelow

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2 responses to “HubEdu Departs San Diego’s Downtown Incubator After Bay Area Buyout”

  1. I think the draw of San Fran for developers and startup founders is a kin a draw as fly’s to bug zappers. The dream of not only having a successful startup but to enter the Silicon Valley community and to create relationships with or become the darlings of the Tech Sector is something that we all may deep down want. I went house hunting last year when I was still in school and realized that for family reasons San Diego was the best place for me to make my money, but I still try to make my yearly Mecca trip to all of the great conferences at least once a year if not more for what is always an exciting pilgrimage.

  2. Steven Cox says:

    Congrats to the team, but selfishly would love to see them stay in SD and build another company. Wishing the guys all the best.