Data-driven publishing platform Inkitt raises $59 million

In today’s content-heavy world, spotting the diamonds in the rough can be quite the challenge. Not only for readers but for publishing houses to boot. With this in mind, Berlin-based Inkitt has developed and deployed an AI algorithm that can book and author success based on reader behaviour.

Aiming to push the success of their methods even further, the startup has raised $59 million, one of the largest Series B rounds on record for a Berlin-based business. To accelerate this success and growth, the company is now turning its sights squarely on the US market, and has a strategic plan to become the ‘Disney of the 21st Century’. No small feat to be sure, as Inkitt will also use the funding to flesh out new products and features as well as making headway into new genres and formats, culminating in a multichannel offer.

At present, Inkitt counts over 7 million users and 300,000 writers from across the globe active on the platform. These 7 million some readers are logging the equivalent of 400 years of reading on the platform every month, with the company’s flagship product Galatea generating a revenue run rate of $38 million.

Another way of thinking about this, ‘400 years of reading per month’ would be, ‘feeding the algorithm 400 years of data per month’. Not bad.

Now, remember that finding the diamonds in the rough comment above? Inkitt provides two stellar examples: 24-year-old Sapir Englard, whose book ‘The Millennium Wolves’ has just banked over $8 million in sales, and Indian author Seemran Sahoo, who penned her entire novel ‘The Arrangement’ on a smartphone, has raked in over $2.7 million in sales.

Inkitt’s Series B round was led by Scott Sandell, Managing General Partner of NEA. Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer, Michael Lynton, Chairman of Snap and former CEO of Penguin, and Stefan von Holtzbrinck. Holtzbrinck Digital also took part in the round alongside previous investors, including Kleiner Perkins, HV Capital, Redalpine, and Speedinvest.

“Inkitt’s technology is extraordinary, very successful and truly illustrates the future of storytelling. When you consider how many Inkitt authors are achieving great commercial success, you can clearly see how deeply this company has disrupted the way people consume books,” commented new board member Mathias Döpfner.

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