Quillo - New app developed to help students buy affordable textbooks

Quillo - New app developed to help students buy affordable textbooks !

Written on 10/21/2019
Thriving Network

If you are a student looking for affordable textbooks, quick and convenient for you, then  Quillo is the app you need to achieve all of this. Quillo creates a seamless digital marketplace where sellers can advertise their old textbooks in seconds and buyers can pay online and get their books delivered to their door.

The idea was borne out of frustration with messy notice boards and inefficient online forums and platforms. The Quillo app was designed to connect buyers and sellers quickly and easily facilitate the transaction via an online portal. The process is simple. First, the seller uploads their book on Quillo and sets a price. The buyer logs on and searches for the book they want. Once the buyer has found what they are looking for, they can contact the seller to ask questions about the condition of the book and can even negotiate on the price. Once, they’re happy, both parties agree on the deal and the buyer can either pay cash when they meet up or with a credit card on the app.


Quillo provides an escrow service where the seller is only paid when the buyer receives and is happy with their textbook. Quillo currently serves 32 000 students across 24 different universities in South Africa. These students have transacted more than 1500 textbooks and have saved more than R1.5M on their education in the process. Quillo's vision is to democratize information and resources within education to make education more meaningful and accessible. We hope to expand our successful second-hand model in textbooks to other educational resources such as school uniform, calculators and laptops.

The app is the brainchild of the University of Cape Town (UCT) student Tamir Shklaz who, like many first-year students, was caught off guard by the number – as well as the cost – of textbooks he was required to get when he first got to university.

"It all started out as a noticeboard for buyers and sellers to get in touch on WhatsApp and via email, but was soon developed into an actual app, and the team – which includes Tristan Brandt as the tech lead want to take the project further than just being a textbook marketplace."

Tamir is a computer enthusiast that loves utilising his passion for maths, computers and entrepreneurship to create things that make a tangible difference in the world around me. He particularly passionate about ed-tech; education is the most powerful tool one can use to change the world.   For this reason, That is he built his first company Quillo while studying Electrical and Computer Engineering to make textbooks more affordable and accessible for university students through the means of a digital marketplace.

His training in engineering has taught him to identify inefficiencies that exist in our world which can easily be solved through technology. 

"There is no feeling in the world more rewarding than when something you built with your own hands helps people overcome real problems. Consequently, I plan to dedicate my life to working on technology that helps people live more meaningful lives," concludes Tamir with a smile.