New investment: Wattpad, the world’s most popular ebook community

Image representing Wattpad as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

For the past decade the book industry has been pretty sheltered from the disruption the music and the film verticals have seen. But this is about to change dramatically. The distribution of books is rapidly moving digital as eReaders have gone mainstream. And now we can see for the first time how social is impacting the way books are created and consumed. Writing a book has traditionally been a relatively lonely affair for a writer – your partner, close friends, or your editor might have provided comments and input to your drafts but it was never immediate or from a large group of people that really cared about what you were creating. And social interaction around reading was mostly limited to discussing books with your groups of friends and potentially your book club.

Wattpad is changing the way books are created and consumed. It is the world’s most popular ebook community with over a million members that lets you discover new stories, vote for your favourite books, and connect with the people behind the story. It is like the best book club you ever belonged to with the writer attending every meeting. It is fun and entertaining, on the web but mostly on mobile, a YouTube for books.

The company announced their Series A financing today and I am very happy to have had the opportunity to invest in Allan Lau and his team, alongside Albert Wenger from Union Square Ventures and Matt Golden from Golden VC. Books have always been a passion of mine and it feels great to be back in the space – looking forward to seeing Wattpad having the same disruptive effect on reading and creating books than AbeBooks had for finding and buying hard-to-find books.

 

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