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Spotify for textbooks Perlego raises $4.8m

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by Startacus Admin

Perlego - billed as the 'Spotify for textbooks' - recently closed a $4.8m (£3.7) venture round, signalling Perlegoa new chapter in it's mission to grow the company across the UK and Europe. Leading the round is ADV, with participation from existing angel investors, including Simon Franks, co-founder of Lovefilm, Peter Hinssen and Alex Chesterman, founder of Zoopla.

Founded by Gauthier Van Malderen and Matthew Davis, Perlego have been featured a couple of times on Startacus. Back in January 2017, we chatted to Founder Gauthier Van Malderen to find out more about their textbook subscription service and more recently we awarded them with our startup of the week title. 

Perlego gives students and professionals unlimited access to hundreds of thousands of professional and academic eBook titles for £12 a month. Perlego is already working with most leading publishers including Oxford University Press, Princeton University Press and Macmillan Higher Education. Publishers receive 65% of each subscription on a consumption basis. Perlego has also announced a new partnership with Cengage Learning, one of the world's largest textbook publishers.

PerlegoFunds will be used to grow the team and support the company’s growth across the UK and Europe as well as further developing its product for students and professionals.

Gauthier Van Malderen, Co-Founder and CEO, said:

“Our mission is to make educational content accessible for all. In this digital age, we believe that anyone should be able to learn anything at any time. Knowledge should be more accessible, not locked behind sky-high price tags and tuition fees. We are delighted to have raised from such forward-thinking investors, to help us build the world’s online learning library.”

"Students prefer flexibility and choice over ownership and virtually every form of media have encountered this paradigm shift. With textbook prices having risen 847% since 1972 - over three times the rate of inflation - and the ownership model for textbooks largely broken, a subscription model for textbooks just makes sense.

"Publishers have also lost out due to second-hand book sales and piracy, so we help them regain market share in a scalable way.

“Currently Perlego has partnered with over 650 publishers, including 8 out of the top 10 leading academic and professional publishers.”.

Mike Dimelow, CIO at ADV, said:

“In the past we all bought books but now we consume content digitally. Spotify has re-defined this consumption for music, Perlego will do the same for educational textbooks and professional learning. Its platform connects consumers to publishers and enables partial ownership, we feel this is a winning model. Consumers pay for what they read whilst publishers monetise content they commission.

“The team has already began working with the majority of the largest academic publishers and have validated their business model with a mass of users. We are excited to play a small part in helping to redefine this industry.”

Perlego also joined Founders Factory this month as part of its edtech accelerator programme, backed by Holtzbrinck Macmillan one of the world's leading academic publishers.

If you like the sound of this startup, you might want to also read up on: 

Bookaxe makes book discovery easy with machine learning.

Toppa wants to be the Netflix of bitesize learning.

Afterbook - honour and memorialise your loved ones.


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Published on: 16th September 2018

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