Wonderbly acquired by private equity firm Graphite Capital

Wonderbly acquired by private equity firm Graphite Capital

Personalised children’s book publisher Wonderbly has been acquired by private equity specialist Graphite Capital for an undisclosed amount. 

Wonderbly is the seventh investment from Graphite’s £500m fund Graphite Capital Partners IX. It follows the recent investment in Higher Ed International, the global online programme manager for higher education.

Lara Markham, investment director, and Edgar Borg Rodriguez, investment executive, also worked on the transaction. Debt finance was provided by Santander.

Wonderbly chief executive Asi Sharabi said: "We have been talking to Graphite for several years and, when it came to finding our next partners, they were top of our list. We were impressed by the experience of their team, their expertise in brand development and their shared vision for our future. We look forward to working with them on the next stage of our journey."

Omar Kayat, Graphite senior partner, added: "Wonderbly has a talented management team which, in a short space of time, has built a high-quality business with a worldwide footprint and market-leading technology. We will work with Asi and his team to develop further corporate partnerships and expand Wonderbly into a broader digital media and technology company."

Wonderbly also announced today (27th July) it is in the early stages of using its technology to develop and market personalised products for blue-chip third-party clients, including Warner Bros and Universal. This technology integrates with Wonderbly's clients’ systems, allowing them to market products through their own websites without inventory risk.

The publisher was founded by Sharabi, David Cadji-Newby, Tal Oron and Pedro Serapicos in 2012. Following the success of its first children’s picture book, Lost My Name, it received funding on the television programme "Dragon’s Den", raising capital on some of the most favourable terms in the history of the programme. It subsequently received funding from venture capital investors including Google Ventures, Project A Ventures and Greycroft. Today, Wonderbly produces a range of 44 personalised children’s books and sells in more than 150 countries, with international sales accounting for over 85% of its revenues. 

Over the past three years, revenue has grown by more than 20% per annum to over £30m. The company, which won Children’s Publisher of the Year at the British Book Awards in May, says it sold more than one million books in 2020.