Scribd Raises Another $13 Million, Aims To Bring Social Reading To Every Device
Scribd, the document sharing hub that launched as a ‘YouTube For Documents’ and has since added other key features, including an online bookstore and a publisher analytics platform, has raised another big round of funding: it’s just closed a $13 million Series C round led by MLC Investments and SVB Capital, with participation from existing investors Redpoint Ventures, Charles River Ventures, and Kinsey Hills Group. The round brings Scribd’s total funding to over $26 million since it first launched in 2007 â€”Â it closed its $9 million Series B in December 2008.
CEO Trip Adler says that the money will primarily be used to expand the team, which is current at around 45 employees. New hires will mostly come on the engineering side, with personnel also being added to Scribd’s business development and sales teams. Adler also says that Scribd has an agressive product roadmap for the next six to twelve months â€”Â a key piece of which will be mobile.
Adler says that Scribd’s goal is to make any piece of written content readable and sharable on any device, and the surge in mobile will obviously play a big part of that. He wouldn’t get into specificsÂ as far as what we should expect for Scribd’s mobile products, but says that it’s more complex than a HTML5-based reader (Scribd launched an impressive HTML5-based text rendering engine in May). Oh, and in case you’re wondering, Adler says that the company definitely isn’t planning on producing a physical reading device of its own.
In terms of growth, Scribd currently draws sixty million monthly uniques, and has around 15% growth month over month.
Scribd has been the leading service for social, online reading for quite a while now, but there’s an increasing amount of action in this space from Amazon (via its Kindle platform) and Google (via Google Books). Neither of these are particularly social yet, but Kindle recently started allowing users to ‘lend’ their books to friends for two weeks (which the Nook can do as well), and other social features are likely to follow eventually â€”Â a more robust Kindle community would make sense. Of course, Scribd’s corpus of content includes millions of user-uploaded documents, while Kindle and Google Books are mostly focused on published works.
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