Mark Cuban-Backed Packback Raises $1.5 Million to Grow ‘Smart...


Mark Cuban-Backed Packback Raises $1.5 Million to Grow ‘Smart Discussion’ Platform

Sep 19, 2017

PACKBACK, a Chicago-based startup that got its start with a textbook rental service, has raised $1.5 million from University Ventures and ICG Ventures. Backed by serial entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban, Packback now describes itself as a company that “builds A.I. and curriculum for college professors to improve student critical thinking,” according to the press release.

This funding is the opening salvo in a larger upcoming Series A, says a company representative. Packback has now raised roughly $5 million in venture capital. The company claims to have doubled its user base over the last semester and expects more than “70,000 paid student users to be actively using the service through the academic year at over 50 campuses,” according to the announcement.

Founded in 2012, the company’s main product is Questions, a “smart” online discussion platform that claims to use artificial intelligence to parse answers and discussions to boost class engagement. The textbook rental business is still around but is an “an ancillary revenue stream,” Packback told Crain’s Chicago Business last year.

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