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EXCLUSIVE! Engg students launch app selling study books

Two third-year students of CEC Engineering College have come up with an app where students can sell/buy old-unused study books/materials for engineering students. The app named COBO, say Vimal KR and Nikhil M Tommy, was built for students looking for second books, apart from a humble effort to avoid paper wastage. The two have also launched a start-up named Virtunova which is aimed at improving the academic life of students.

“The app COBO acts as a platform for buying and selling used books. Our motto is to make text books easily available to every student without much hassle. Using COBO, students can sell used books/neatly written notebooks or even good quality xerox for sale at a price lower than what they bought it. All they need is to upload the image. To have it tested, we launched the app exclusively for College of Engineering, Chengannur students on February 4, 2019 and the response was overwhelming. That’s when we decided to launch it state-wide for every engineering college under KTU. Now, we believe that juniors don’t have to worry about asking their seniors for their textbooks. Instead, they can download COBO to do the same.”

A chat with Vimal, the founder.

How did the idea to start an App for old books begin?

Nikhil and I were attending a technical session in my college during first year vacation. During the session, we both came to know each other better and we also realized we had similar vision. So we decided to do something together. Just before the new semester began, we understood the need to buy new books, which obviously meant spending more money. Plus, we also wanted to sell our old books to our juniors. So eventually we came up with the idea of making the whole process easy. Previously, we had to ask our seniors if they had any books and if not, ask their friends, and the process was very annoying.

Is it the rising cost factor or an eco-friendly measure that pushed you to launch?

Both. We couldn't afford to buy new books every semester and we also came to know that a majority of books and materials get wasted every year.

How much has been the operative cost? How will you recover the cost?

The operative cost is around Rs 4,000 (to begin an account in playstore Rs 2,000 and another Rs 2,000) to host the app. We are launching this app free right now and the ad revenue may not even reach a threshold value. Let us see how it goes.

Are you planning to activate payment through the site?

We intend to keep this app as simple, convenient and user friendly as possible and based on feedbacks, if payment through the app is convenient, we might try that.

Is the site open for all the engineering students in Kerala?

Yes, the app is open to every engineering student in Kerala and they can search or upload their books targeting their own college.

What are your future plans?

We intend to create such products in future which will be a boon for students. Right now, our focus is solely on CoBo.

If you have similar stories, please reach out on
Whatsapp +919061207333 or email - info@fayz.in

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