Social reading service Bookmate raises $3m in Series A funding for international rollout.
Dream Industries raises $3 million Series A funding from retail giant Ulmart for the development of its subscription-based social reading service Bookmate. The funding will be used to accelerate the global expansion of Bookmate; starting with Turkey, Scandinavia and Latin America in 2014, as well as further content acquisition to support expansion plans. Funding for Bookmate comes as part of $6.5 million funding package from Ulmart to Dream Industries, with the balance of the raise allocated to other Dream Industries projects.
Bookmate is a social reading service based on a subscription model available across all mobile, tablet and online platforms. Bookmate is the market leader with 1.5 million active monthly users in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and other Russian speaking markets, and conversion rate of 7% to paid subscribers. Currently Bookmate’s library has over 400,000 books and partners with over 300 publishers globally. Bookmate has launched in Turkey and will be available throughout Scandinavia and Latin America by the end of 2014. While the eBook market is established in the US and UK, in other markets, eBook consumption is just starting to gain traction and Bookmate is positioned to harness this rapid growth.
Bookmate connects publishers and authors with new markets and monetization channels by partnering with Mobile Network Operators (MNO’s), Device Manufacturers, online retailers and local government.
Bookmate creates a new economy for eBooks. It has pioneered subscription-based reading in some of the most challenging market conditions, proving that a vibrant, socially orientated reading service can engage readers and deliver revenues to publishers. Bookmate’s team has successfully reshaped the habits of users from the model of eBook ‘ownership’ to having access to a broad catalogue of books for a flat subscription rate. Bookmate has strong social features for expression and engagement enabling readers to discover, follow, recommend, interact with one another and find a Book mate. In contrast to Amazon, Google Books or iBooks; Bookmate is an open platform that facilitates the relationship between publishers and their audience. Via the Bookmate Publisher Dashboard, publishers have access to user behavior analytics and promotion tools for direct marketing allowing them to ‘own’ their relationship with their readers and gain insight into the readers’ journey.
Bookmate and Ulmart:
Ulmart is the leading e-retailer in Russia with reported sales of $1.2 billion in 2013. Following the investment participation of Ulmart in Dream Industries, the companies will launch a joint digital content service on the Ulmart platform which will mark the first move for Ulmart beyond the sale of consumer electronics. From June 2014, Bookmate’s innovative eBooks service will be rolled out across Ulmart’s customer base.
“Bookmate is optimized for post-piracy markets where the Pay-Per-Download model does not work. Not all markets are the same and for most non-US markets, readers want unlimited access to books combined with strong social and discovery features available on whichever mobile phone they use. This can only be achieved via subscription. Subscription also enables us to integrate a range of new revenue channels. Bookmate has pioneered this model in Russia and is leveraging it’s experience as it launches in new markets” says co-founder of Bookmate Simon Dunlop. “This investment will enable us to accelerate growth and convert some of the bigger deals we have been working on.”
Launched in 2010 as a personal eBook cloud library, Bookmate is now an eBook subscription service with advanced social functionality, available across all mobile and tablet platforms. Bookmate has a library of over 400,000 books and partnerships with over 300 publishers. Globally, Bookmate has 1.5 million users monthly. Bookmate won the 2014 Publishing for Digital Minds Innovation Award at the London Book Fair – International Book Awards. Bookmate is a US company with development team in Moscow and Sales and Marketing teams in the increasing number of territories. For more information visit Bookmate.com