Inkitt secures $59m in Series B funding round

Ali Albazaz

Inkitt, the world’s first data-driven publishing house, has just raised its Series B round totalling $59m (USD). This is one of the largest Series B raises for a Berlin-based business. The funds will be used to accelerate the publishing company’s continued global expansion.

The 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.

Sandell and Döpfner will also join Inkitt’s advisory board, alongside Ilya Fushman from Kleiner Perkins. With an investing career spanning three decades, Sandell is among the most frequently named venture capitalists to the Forbes Midas List. His prior investments include Snapchat, Coursera, Patreon, Robinhood, Salesforce and Tableau Software.

Mathias Döpfner, Chairman and CEO Axel Springer SE and a member of Netflix’s Board of Directors, will receive an observer seat and brings with him a wealth of experience in the digital publishing space.

What will Inkitt use the funding for?

The new funding will be used to continue Inkitt’s exponential growth and global expansion – with the company’s sights set on the US in the immediate future. This comes as part of a strategic plan to become the ‘Disney of the 21st Century’ – which will mean developing even more new products and features, as well as innovating across multiple new genres and formats, on Inkitt’s journey to becoming a globally known distributer of multichannel, full-spectrum content.

Inkitt will also continue to invest in its team, outlining roles across engineering, marketing and finance, as well as a particular focus on hiring US-based talent. The company already has a 80-strong team of entrepreneurs, engineers and artists based in its Berlin office, including hires from Netflix, N26, Blizzard, Babbel, Glovo and Yandex.

Ali Albazaz, CEO and Founder of Inkitt, says: “I’m thrilled to welcome Scott and Mathias to Inkitt’s board; it’s incredibly exciting to be working with such world-class investors and executives as we continue to build the Disney of the 21st Century together.

“The Inkitt team has worked extremely hard to develop the most systematic approach to discovering the best stories worldwide, building tools and processes to turn them into commercially successful stories in text and audiobook formats.

“I see the massively oversubscribed funding round we just closed as a trophy for the Inkitt team’s hard work, dedication and commitment to our mission to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. All that said, this is just the beginning of our journey and I’m very much looking forward to building the best destination for entertaining billions of consumers around the world.”

Scott Sandell, Managing General Partner of NEA, comments “Inkitt is well-positioned to become the future of storytelling, having already moved beyond traditional content forms to new formats that are innovative and engaging for millions of readers.

“A critical shift is taking place in how people consume stories, and Inkitt understands that. We are thrilled to partner closely with Ali and the rest of the Inkitt board to help drive what is sure to be an exciting and exponential phase of growth.”

Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Axel Springer, comments: “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. We are excited to become part of the further development and work with them as they continue on their journey.”

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