Publishing Platform Pencil Raises $1 Mn In Pre-Series A Funding Round

The platform will use the funding to scale up its tech team as it is working on launching a reader app

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Mumbai-based publishing platform Pencil has announced on Monday to have raised $1 million in the Pre-Series A funding round led by the US-based venture capital firm SOSV. Inflection Point Ventures (IPV) and Artesian, who have come on board as new investors also participated in the round along with existing investors from Mumbai Angels and SucSEED.

Pencil

Just as YouTube and Instagram have transformed video and photo content, the company claims to be catering to the needs of millions of writers, readers, and storytellers worldwide and will utilize the funds raised from the Pre-Series A round for building the tech and team at 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,” said Swarup Nanda, founder, and chief executive officer, Pencil.

The platform enables writers to publish their books in more than 60 languages, including all Indian Languages, distribute the books as e-books, and printed books worldwide for free.

“While digital transformation is sweeping through every sector from real estate to manufacturing to transportation, it has somehow eluded the publishing space. Pencil is democratizing the publishing industry and promoting a 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,” shared Ankur Mittal, co-founder, Inflection Point Ventures.

The platform has maintained to have been helping authors understand how their book is being read through in-depth analytics and make dynamic edits - selling the new versions across the world using their tech platform to improve the content to enhance their readership while increasing their chances of commercial success.

“We’re in the middle of evolution in dynamic content: data will shape how people read, learn, and publish in the next decade. The publishing industry is ripe for disruption, and we cannot think of a stronger team to work with,” added William Bao Bean, general partner, SOSV, and managing director, MOX.

In addition to the writing platform, it is also building a reader app with the aim to help people read more and read better. The app will feature content in multiple languages along with key insights from over 1000 international non-fiction books and built-in recognition for readers to read and contribute.