Chegg, Inc. is an American education technology company based in Santa Clara, California, that offers online textbook rentals (both in physical and digital formats), as well as homework help, online tutoring, scholarships and internship matching. It is intended to help students in high school and college. It also owns citation services EasyBib, Citation Machine, BibMe, and Cite This For Me. The company was created in the United States by three Iowa State University students in 2001 and founded by entrepreneur Aayush Phumbhra. The name Chegg is a portmanteau of the words chicken and egg, based on the founders’ experience after graduating from college; they could not land a job without experience, but could not get experience without a job.
Originally called CheggPost, Chegg was founded by Osman Rashid and Aayush Phumbhra in 2003. Rashid and Phumbhra initially believed the site would operate similar to Craigslist for college campuses, but it didn’t gain significant traction outside of textbook sales. In 2007, the company was restructured to focus on textbook sales only. It gathered books from sellers at the end of the semester and then rented or sold them to other students at the start of a new semester. In December 2008, Chegg raised $25 million in venture capital.
In 2010, Chegg acquired CourseRank, a service that allows students to review courses and plan their courses for upcoming semesters. That same year the company acquired Cramster, a provider of online homework help; and Notehall, an online marketplace for purchasing or selling class notes. The company made several additional acquisitions in 2011, including, Zinch, a service that matches high school students to college recruiters.
Major acquisitions and partnerships in 2014 included InstaEDU Inc.,in June 2014, a website that connects students with tutors. In August 2014, Chegg entered into a partnership with Ingram Content Group to handle storage and shipping of its textbooks. The partnership was meant to reduce Chegg’s overhead costs.
In 2016, the company acquired Imagine Easy Solutions, which offers bibliographic and educational products. In April 2017, Pearson partnered with Chegg to make higher education textbooks more affordable. This partnership operated on a “rental only” business model.