Scribd goes for growth with $58 million funding boost

Ebook subscription service Scribd has picked up $58 million in new equity financing which it says will be used for growth, product innovation and enhance operations.

Scribd CEO and co-founder Trip Adler says, ‘By partnering with the world’s best publishers of all types of content, Scribd has introduced a first-of-its-kind experience for readers, while unlocking a new revenue stream for the publishing community.

‘This funding will enable us to continue to operate sustainably and efficiently while accelerating our growth, product innovations, content acquisition and continued investment in our employees.’

In April this year Scribd became a publisher when it launched Scribd Originals. It’s had a limited program of releases so far and the latest Original is being published in December — Think Like a Billionaire by James Altucher, which is a collection of the financial guru’s podcast interviews with a range of businesspeople.

The new cash injection, led by Spectrum Equity, could help to widen Scribd’s operations internationally after it expanded in Mexico earlier this year.

In January 2019, Scribd revealed it had one million paying subscribers, doubling its total since 2017 when the company said it had 500,000 subscribers and was profitable.

Indie authors can use distributors such as Draft2digital to get their titles on to the Scribd platform and they get paid a 70% royalty.

Some self-publishing authors say they have had a decent level of success through Scribd although they do face competition from the major traditional publishers which use the platform.

Spectrum Equity managing director Pete Jensen says, ‘As a differentiated content library, including robust user-generated content and ebooks and audiobooks from top-tier publishers, Scribd is poised to be the leading online subscription reading service for consumers across the globe.’

Scribd launched in 2007 as a hosting service for documents and became a subscription service in 2013. The company says it has over 100 million website visitors monthly, more than one million titles available and 80 million documents. It’s raised a total of over $100 million in funding.

Scribd hits ‘the tipping point’ of one million subscribers for its ebook service

Scribd Originals aiming at gap between magazine articles and full-length books