Wattpad, the online community of writers and readers, revealed it has closed a $17.3 million round of financing led by Khosla Ventures. It is the company’s B round. Other investors include Jerry Yang, and prior backers Union Square Ventures of New York and Golden Venture Partners.
Wattpad.com Raises $17.3 Million in Series B Funding Led by Khosla Ventures
Khosla Ventures, Along With Internet Entrepreneur Jerry Yang and Existing Partners Union Square Ventures and Golden Venture Partners Invest in the World’s Largest Story Sharing Community
NEW YORK, NEW YORK AND TORONTO, ONTARIO, Jun 06, 2012 — Wattpad ( http://www.wattpad.com ), the world’s largest online community of readers and writers, announced today at Book Expo America that it has raised $17.3 million in its Series B round of financing.
Wattpad offers a mobile, social, eReading platform where readers and writers connect directly. This new interactive model has gained tremendous traction with users spending 1.7 billion minutes on Wattpad each month–a level of engagement on par with other social sharing sites such as Pinterest. Wattpad currently hosts over five million user-generated stories in 25 languages, with 500,000 new stories added each month. The company has reimagined both print and digital reading by delivering a broader social entertainment experience: writers share their work chapter-by-chapter with readers, while readers comment and shape storylines in real time. Over 70% of Wattpad’s usage comes from its mobile apps.
This funding round was led by Khosla Ventures of San Francisco and includes internet entrepreneur Jerry Yang, with existing partners Union Square Ventures of New York and Golden Venture Partners in Toronto also participating. It has been recognized as highly significant due to having two top-tier US funds investing at this level in a Canadian-based consumer internet company.
“In the mobile, social eReading market there’s a great opportunity to innovate. One critical element to achieve this leadership is to have visionary founders who can balance the needs of their rapidly growing user base while scaling their technology platforms,” said Yang. “Wattpad has this unique combination of talent in their leadership, which has led to their extraordinary community growth.”
“Publishing is in the midst of being reimagined and Wattpad is leading this transformative shift,” said Khosla Ventures partner and new Wattpad board member Andrew Chung. “The 100 billion dollar industry is ripe for digital-native disruption and things have changed massively with the rise of mobile devices and social sharing. We see tremendous opportunity in this space and believe that Wattpad is fundamentally changing the way readers and writers are connecting, sharing stories
and building audiences.”
Wattpad will use this new funding to expand its team, enhance the product through new features focused on collaborative and interactive storytelling, and grow its community which now sits at eight million.
“Wattpad has seen incredible growth and found a way to make long-form written content bite-sized and digestible for the mobile age,” said CEO Allen Lau. “Gutenberg invented the printing press over 400 years ago, and I believe we are creating a product that will define how people share and connect through stories for the digital age.”
Wattpad is the world’s largest community of readers and writers. It’s a free and fun way to read online and across every mobile device. Everyday, millions of people find great fiction and share their own creative writing on Wattpad. Wattpad writers build fan bases made up of thousands of followers and many see over ten million reads of their stories; some have been discovered and signed by publishers while others have had work optioned for TV and film. Find over five million stories on Wattpad–spanning all genres of creative writing, including mystery, romance, sci-fi, poetry and fan fiction. www.wattpad.com
About Khosla Ventures
Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in breakthrough scientific work in clean technology areas such as bio-refineries for energy and bioplastics, solar, battery and other environmentally friendly technologies as well as traditional venture areas like the Internet, computing, mobile and silicon technology arenas. Vinod Khosla founded the firm in 2004 and was formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins and founder of Sun Microsystems. www.khoslaventures.com .