Pencil, a startup that aims to revolutionize the publishing industry by turning books into live content, has raised $1 million in a Pre Series A funding round, led by US-based venture capital firm SOSV.
Existing investors from Mumbai Angels and SucSEED also participated in the round. The startup also managed to bring some new investors on board, including Inflection Point Ventures (IPV) and Artesian, which see potential in Pencil’s offering.
Pencil aims to change the way people read and engage with books, by allowing writers to see how their readers are engaging with their content. It does so by providing in-depth analytics and making dynamic edits, giving writers an idea of how their audience is engaging with the content. Moreover, it enables writers to publish their books in 60+ languages, including all Indian Languages, and distribute them as eBooks and/or printed books worldwide. The best part? The startup aims to democratize reading, and thus, it’s all for free!
That’s not all, as Pencil also helps writers secure revenues by getting them deals with other publishers, either for translated versions of their books, or with studios & OTT platforms for adapting content to video formats, should the opportunity arise.
Till date, Pencil has launched 1100 books with global e-commerce distribution.
The company aims to help the other side of the aisle-the readers as well. At the moment, it is building a reader app, in an attempt to help people read more.
The digital revolution has taken almost every industry by storm, but somehow, the publishing sector remains widely untouched. That is the statement echoed by Ankur Mittal, Co-Founder, Inflection Point Ventures, who said: “Pencil is democratizing the publishing industry and promoting passion economy where it will make it easier and convenient for people to publish content and for that content to find not only a reader base but also OTT platforms who may be interested in converting those stories into movies and web series. Use of analytics, dynamic editing, digital distribution, and most importantly, open access to new markets for budding writers that allows them to connect with their readers and get real-time feedback are the factors that helped our decision to invest in Pencil.”
“We are on a mission to make publishing a transparent and truly digital ecosystem for authors, readers, and publishers. We aim to democratize creativity by empowering writers to become authors, improve their content, build audiences and monetize their creative pursuits. We are extremely fortunate to have such wonderful investor-partners backing us who share our vision and want to help us grow faster by supporting us not just financially but also open access for us to take our business to the right audience,” says Swarup Nanda, Founder & CEO of Pencil.