Self-publishing platform, Pratilipi, has raised $4.3 million in a Series A round of investment led by Omidyar Network. The round also saw participation from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners; Atul Goel, managing director of the Essel Group’s E-City Ventures; Contrarian Capital and Times Internet Limited and while new investors Shunwei Capital and WEH Ventures.
The company stated that they’ll be using the funds to expand and strengthen its product, technology and data science teams and also to grow further and develop partnerships.
Founded in March 2015 by Ranjeet Pratap Singh, Sankaranarayanan Devarajan, Rahul Ranjan, Prashant Gupta and Sahradayi Modi, Pratilipi claims to be the largest Indian language self-publishing platform currently operational in eight Indian languages. Both professional and hobbyist writers can publish their books, stories, essays, etc, on the self publishing platform.
Both Ranjeet and Sankaranarayanan are management graduates from Delhi University
Prior to starting up, Singh worked with Vodafone, while Devarajan was a procurement consultant with market research firm Beroe Inc.
Sankaranarayanan holds a computer science degree from KIIT University, Bhubaneswar and was previously working as a system engineer at TCS. Prashant, who has done his masters in computer science from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, was a software development engineer at Amazon. Sahradayi has done her MBA from SP University and has previously worked at DHL and Vodafone India.
Pratilipi allows writers to e-publish their poems, stories and other literary works, and readers can read them on the platform for free. It acts like a discovery and reading platform for readers. The startup offers content in eight Indian languages – Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam, Oriya, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi and Kannada. It plans to add more languages and content formats later this year.