India-based Content publishing platform for writers & readers, Pencil raised US$ 1 million in a pre-Series A funding round on 15 February 2021.
Investors: The funding round was led by US-based venture capital fund SOSV, with participation from Inflection Point Ventures (IPV). Other investors who participated in the round were Artesian and existing investors Mumbai Angels and SucSEED.
Purpose of the funding: The funds raised will be utilized by the startup to scale up its tech team as it is working on launching a reader app.
Founded in 2010 by Swarup Nanda, Pencil is a reading and writing platform for different types of formats of content, from shorts, books and book summaries. It enables writers to create multiple types of content in over 60 languages, continuously enhancing their work powered by meaningful reading insights. Writers also get a chance to engage with the readers and monetise their content. Pencil is a free of cost publishing platform that allows writers to write, publish and distribute their book globally as paperback and eBook. It provides all the necessary and easy-to-use tools to write, design a book cover, set price and distribute the book, everything under one platform.
Pencil helps authors understand how people are liking their book providing in-depth analytics and dynamic edits. Authors can then generate revenue by getting deals with publishers for the translated versions of their books and deals with studios and OTT for adapting their content into video formats. Pencil aims to create a social storytelling platform. It also helps readers to discover different formats of content. They can also build their own library and get recognised for every book they read.
What the CEO has to say: “With the present boom in the creator economy, we spotted a void in creative spaces for authors. We want to fill this gap by bringing in a dynamic, transparent and truly digital literary space where writers can publish, improve their content, build audiences and monetise their creative pursuits,” said Swarup Nanda, founder and chief executive officer of Pencil.
What the investors have to say: “There is a definite shift from ‘Uber for X’ era investing to passion economy investing, and Pencil is an investment in that direction. Pencil is a unique platform that facilitates self-publishing for authors and allows people an opportunity to financially benefit by pursuing their passion,” said Ankur Mittal, co-founder of Inflection Point Ventures.
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