UK publishing startup Wonderbly bags $8.5 mln Series B


UK-based publishing startup Wonderbly has raised $8.5 million in Series B funding. Ravensburger led the round with participation from other investors that included Google Ventures, Project A Ventures, Greycroft, The Chernin Group and Allen & Co.

PRESS RELEASE

London, Tuesday 1st August 2017

Wonderbly (formerly Lost My Name), today announced an $8.5 million Series B round led by Ravensburger, a leading European publisher of games, puzzles, and children’s books. In this Series B round, Ravensburger joins the circle of renowned international investors, including previous lead investor Google Ventures, Project A Ventures, Greycroft, The Chernin Group , and Allen & Co, all of whom participated in this latest round. Additionally, the company has secured a venture debt facility from Silicon Valley Bank. The $8.5 million total investment will be used for accelerating new product development and international growth.

The rebrand and new investment round marks both the evolution of the company as well as its vision for the future; to keep pushing the boundaries of personalization with a mission to inspire boundless self-belief in every child through imaginative, personal storytelling.

A disruptive force in the world of publishing, Wonderbly lives at the intersection of storytelling, engineering, digital and print. Headquartered in the UK, the company burst onto the scene with the global bestseller the “Lost My Name” book, a personalized children’s book that changed the landscape of children’s personalized publishing forever. Previously judged as a gimmicky novelty gift category, Wonderbly has made personalized books an exciting creative canvas and technology playground. The company’s flagship title “Lost My Name” is now available in 10 languages and has become the top selling picture book in every major market Wonderbly operates including USA, UK, Germany and Canada. In total, the company has now sold over 2.7 million copies worldwide. Wonderbly launched three more titles with different personalization systems/technologies and will be releasing three more exciting books this year.

Headlining this year’s product lineup, Wonderbly also is also unveiling for the first time that the initial personalized publishing project from its highly anticipated joint venture with the Roald Dahl estate will spotlight one of the most iconic family entertainment franchises of all -time: Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory. Wonderbly and The Dahl Estate will for the first time reopen the gates to the amazing Willy Wonka Factory in literary format in what will be a truly amazing adventure distinctly personalized for every reader as only Wonderbly can do. The title will be released this September with more details to be revealed over the next few weeks.

“We’re building new kind of personal media and publishing company that empowers customers to create stories and products that bring them closer to the people they love. We have a growing body of evidence for the positive impact of our products on children’s imagination and self-esteem and we’re incredibly excited to keep creating personalized stories that inspire, nurture and empower children the world over,” said Asi Sharabi, CEO, Wonderbly. “We’re particularly thrilled to bring Ravensburger on board. Our investment mantra has always been added value over capital and Ravensburger brings with them over 100 years of operational experience shipping quality products that bring children and adults closer together”

Sharabi continued, “At Wonderbly’s core is a mission to inspire boundless self-belief in every child. Our personalized products are designed to help parents be true super heroes, arming them with the powers of personalized publishing that sparks and stretches their children’s imaginations while showing them how unique, loved, able and unstoppable they can be.”

Clemens Maier, CEO, Ravensburger group., added, “We have been following the development of Wonderbly for some time and are delighted to come on board as a strategic investor as part of our new corporate investment initiative. Wonderbly has managed to build a truly international, personalized children’s book business and we are excited to support them in their next phase of growth.”

Florian Heinemann, Partner at Project A., commented, “My four children, my wife, and I are fans of Wonderbly’s books. Together, we really enjoy to dive into their magical adventures,” says “As a VC, we continue to be impressed with Wonderbly’s capability to scale personalisation through technology. Therefore, we’re happy to participate also in the current investment round.”

About Wonderbly
Wonderbly is a marvellously unusual, award winning publishing startup that plays in the intersection of storytelling and technology. We’re on a mission to inspire boundless self-belief in children through clever and sophisticated personalisation.

Formerly known as Lost My Name, we found a new name in July 2017 and Wonderbly was born.
We are building a new class of global publishing business that brings millions of people into our superbly high quality products -as creators and audiences – and in doing so empowers them to build connections with each other and with us. We’re doing this by creating new kinds of publishing and media products – ones that are infused with data – personal, practical, educational, artistic and emotional. This combination of individual data (customer IP) and unique, brilliantly executed, innovative products (Wonderbly IP) is what will make our company a major player in the future of publishing.

To date, we have made over 2.7 million children in more than 200 countries gasp and giggle.

About Ravensburger
Ravensburger AG is a modern, international group with a long tradition and solid values. Its mission is “Playful Development”.

Its main trademark, the blue triangle, is one of the most renowned trademarks in Germany and stands for the values enjoyment, education, and togetherness. Ravensburger is one of the leading brands for puzzles, games, and activity products in Europe as well as for children’s and youth books in the German-speaking region. Games with the blue triangle are sold worldwide, with 85% of them produced in the company’s own production plants. Ravensburger employs 2,109 staff and achieved sales of 473.5 million euros in 2016.

About Project A
Project A is an operational VC that provides its ventures with capital, an extensive network and exclusive access to a wide range of operational expertise. The Berlin-based investor makes use of the €260m in assets under its management to back early-stage companies in the digital technology space. With its unique organizational structure featuring 100 operational experts, Project A offers its portfolio companies hands-on support in the areas of IT, Marketing & Brand Building, Business Intelligence, Sales and Recruiting. The portfolio includes companies such as Catawiki, WorldRemit, Tictail, nu3, Lostmy.name and ZenMate. More about Project A on www.project-a.com and on our blog insights.project-a.com.

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