Wattpad, the online community of readers and writers, has secured $17.3 million in its Series B round of financing led by Khosla Ventures with participation from entrepreneur Jerry Yang and existing investors Union Square Ventures and Golden Venture Partners.
The Toronto-based company turns the usually solitary pasttime into a foundation for social interaction and personal expression. Wattpad currently hosts over 5 million user-generated stories in 25 languages, with 500,000 new stories added each month.
Figures aren’t available for how many of these get read, but its users collectively spend 1.7 billion minutes on Wattpad each month. Writers post a chapter at a time – a digital version of the serialization model used by magazines and movie studios in their early days, except that here the readers can comment and shape storylines in real time.
Wattpad CEO Allen Lau said that more than 70 percent of Wattpad’s usage is via its mobile apps, reinforcing the immediacy and intimacy of the platform.
“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. “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 – official site
Wattpad – blog post
Khosla Ventures – official site