Mumbai-based publishing platform Pencil has announced that it has raised $1 million in funding in the Pre-Series-A round.
The current round has been led by the United States-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 is a publishing platform that enables writers to publish their books in over 60 languages, including all Indian Languages, distribute the books as eBooks and printed books worldwide for free. It also provides in-depth analytics for writers and enables them to make dynamic edits.
The platform has attracted “thousands of writers” to its platform in a few weeks, it said. The startup will utilise 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 democratise creativity by empowering writers to become authors, improve their content, build audiences and monetise 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 & CEO of Pencil.
William Bao Bean, General Partner, SOSV and Managing Director of MOX, said, “We’re in the middle of an 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.”
“While digital transformation is sweeping through every sector from real estate to manufacturing to transportation, it has somehow eluded the publishing space. 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,” said Ankur Mittal, Co-Founder, Inflection Point Ventures.
In addition to the writing platform, Pencil is also building a reader app that 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.