|Key people||Jeevan Padiyar, CEO
George Burke, Co-Founder/CMO
Nick Ruffilo CTO/CIO
Georg Richter, Chairman
Shamoon Siddiqui, Co-founder
|Products||Book rental service|
BookSwim is a private American online book rental service, offering rental-by-mail of both hardcover and paperback books. The company was launched in 2007 and has grown steadily since its inception.
George Burke co-founded BookSwim with friend Shamoon Siddiqui in April 2007, in Shamoon's basement for the first ten months of the company’s existence. The company has since branched out, briefly moving to Aberdeen, NJ before establishing headquarters in Newark, NJ with distribution facilities in eastern Pennsylvania.
BookSwim provides unlimited rental-by-mail of hardcover and paperback books on a monthly subscription basis. Subscribers add books to their online reading list, called a Rental Pool. When the subscriber returns finished books, the next books in the Rental Pool ship out. The similarity to Netflix's business model has led to the website informally being called the 'Netflix for books.' BookSwim's plans begin at $9.99 per month and include only hardcover and paperback books.
Honors & Appearances
BookSwim entered and won Rutgers University’s Business Plan Competition in 2008 and an accompanying cash prize of $20,000. The company was named a 'Startup to Watch' by Entrepreneur Magazine, and the New Jersey Technology Council.
Market Conditions & Competitiveness
BookSwim's subscribers tend to be high-income avid readers who read over forty books a year; roughly 80% of them are female. As "the core of [the] business is in bestsellers," BookSwim cites its rental of hardcovers as its main competitive edge over competitor Booksfree.
Relationships with Libraries
Though libraries’ reactions to BookSwim have included anxiety and resentment, BookSwim does not see itself as competition with libraries. The company has expressed interest in taking libraries on as customers and its co-founders appeared at the 2008 Colorado Interlibrary Loan Conference to speak about potential partnerships with them. In October 2008, BookSwim donated an extra 13,000 books from its inventory to the Newark Public Library near its new offices.