Berlin-based startup Blinkist, which squeezes non-fiction books into 15-minute audio and text-based digests, has raised $18.8 million in a funding round led by Insight Venture Partners. The company will use the money to expand its team and introduce support for new languages for its app in addition to English and German.
Founded in 2012, Blinkist creates condensed digests of non-fiction books, so-called “books-in-blinks.” The audio and text-based insights aim to outline the main ideas of more than 2,500 books in different genres, including entrepreneurship, politics, science, psychology, investment, and parenting.
“The problem that we are solving for millions of people across the world is one that we see every day; the significant gap between people's desire to read and learn more, and the actual time they spend doing so,” said Blinkist CEO and co-founder Holger Seim.
Users can download and start using Blinkist for free, gaining access to one free “book-in-blinks” that changes every day. A Premium membership at €79.99 a year or €12.99 a month buys unlimited access to all the textual and audio insights collected on the platform. The company stated that it adds some 40 new titles monthly.
The latest funding round brings the total amount raised by Blinkist to $35 million. Harley Miller and Nicolas Wittenborn from Insight Venture Partners will join the company's board together with Markus Witte, CEO and co-founder of language learning app Babbel.