Students launch text book site

Above: UCT student Tamir Shklaz, the founder of Quillo.

University textbooks can cost thousands of rand, but now a UCT student has built a website to make buying and selling second-hand books a lot easier.

Tamir Shklaz, 21, a third-year electrical and computer engineering student, came up with the idea because he couldn’t afford to buy his textbooks new and trying to source them second hand through the university noticeboard proved very difficult.

Last July, he developed UniBooks, an Android app, but then took the project further, with two partners in January, and built Quillo, which started as an app on both Android and IOS but is being reworked into a website.

In March one of the three co-founders pulled out of the project, and Tristan Brandt joined Quillo as the tech lead.

According to Mr Shklaz, Quillo went live on the first day of the current academic year at UCT and now has 2000 users.

“It can very easily be expanded to any campus nationwide. However, there needs to be a lot of people using the app in order for there to be value to it,” he said.

“If it is available at Wits, but only three people are advertising their books, it won’t catch on.”

Any student with a smartphone, tablet or laptop can access Quillo.

For now Quillo is only available to universities in the Western Cape, but Mr Shklaz and his team hope to take it nationwide in two years.

You can find Quillo at