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Summary:

iOS publisher Inkling closed a $16 million funding round and has new deals with Pearson and Elsevier.

Inkling habitat Catalog Earthcore
photo: Inkling

Interactive iOS publishing platform Inkling has closed a $16 million series C funding round and established strategic partnerships with educational publishers Pearson and Elsevier, the company plans to announce Wednesday.

Pearson — along with McGraw Hill — has already invested in Inkling a couple times, but now Inkling’s cloud-based publishing platform, Habitat, will serve as both Pearson and Elsevier’s primary digital content development platform, with all of their new digital content being constructed through it. Elsevier will also bring 650 existing medical textbooks to the platform. Right now, Inkling has around 550 titles available for iPhone, iPad and web.

The $16 million funding round was led by Sequoia Capital. Inkling raised $17 million in August 2011 and an unspecified amount from McGraw-Hill and Pearson earlier that year. CEO Matt MacInnis told me the funding will be used to help large publishers integrate Habitat into their product workflows, as well as to “address the next tier of large publishers who will be using Habitat” by hiring more people.

Inkling has already made a few new hires: Guy Gostyla joins the company as VP of business development after holding the same position at Flipboard, Hema Padhu joins as VP of marketing after holding that role at ModCloth, and Stephane Panier becomes VP of finance and operations after holding similar positions at GoodData and Google.

In January, Inkling started making all of its titles searchable through Google, and I asked MacInnis about how that project is going. He said the company isn’t ready to disclose numbers, but “we have achieved weekly double-digit compound growth in traffic and revenue, and our hiring of both Hema and Gus to drive content acquisition and sales is testament to the size of the bet we’re placing on our Content Discovery Platform…The revenue yield has been terrific.”

Disclosure: Elsevier is owned by Reed-Elsevier, whose venture capital firm is also an investor in the parent company of GigaOM/paidContent.

  1. Go Inkling! This is truly good news — and a great scoop, LHO. It reads as if Sequoia might have held back additional $$$ waiting for solid strategic partners to emerge. This is one of the most positive developments for the future of publications that exploit the new platform for the all the benefits to be gained. The goal to create indisputable new value in book publishing has a real shot now.

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