Serialised reading platform Serial Box, hailed as the "HBO of reading", has secured $1.65m (£1.18m) in initial funding.
Serial Box produces serialised stories written by teams of writers and releases them weekly in written and audio form. The $1.65m seed investment is the earliest round of funding for the firm and was raised by investors putting in capital in exchange for equity stakes in the company.
The investment round was led by Boat Rocker Media. Michel Pratte, the chief revenue officer of Boat Rocker, said: “Serialisation has proven to be a powerful storytelling engine in television, podcasts and in comic books, but it has yet to be properly leveraged in modern-day publishing. We see a big opportunity for Serial Box to be a top tier publishing studio of original serial entertainment and look forward to collaborating with the team as it continues to build a platform for readers and listeners".
Serial Box c.e.o. and co-founder Molly Barton, a former global digital director of Penguin, said: “We’re successfully attracting and retaining a loyal premium audience – average order value has increased steadily in the last six months. And we’re seeing that the majority of readers enjoy the option to switch over to listening with just a click.”
Investor Richard Sarnoff, previously co-chair of Bertelsmann, and director on the board of Audible, said: “Bundling e-book and audio makes natural sense for readers in 2018. I’m delighted to be an early investor in a publishing company that is responding to what customers want.”
Additional early investors in Serial Box include Swedish executive Mattias Lundgren, the c.e.o. of Word Audio Publishing, a Swedish audiobook and digital content publishing company.
Lundgren said: “Audio is the fastest growing sector within the $125bn global book market and I am very happy it is a key part of Serial Box’s strategy. Serial Box’s latest audio series illustrate their focus on delivering an immersive audio experience with ambient sound, original music, and sound effects.”
In addition to new investment, Serial Box has recently collaborated with The Associated Press, Adaptive Studios, Hachette Book Group, among others.