Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Inkling Raises $17M for Digital Textbooks

Inkling, the San Francisco-based maker of interactive iPad textbooks (see D9 demo video here), has raised $17 million in Series B funding led by Tenaya Capital and including Jafco Ventures, Pearson Education and Sequoia Capital.

Inkling CEO Matt MacInnis, citing IBISWorld data, noted in a recent interview that the U.S. textbook market was worth $16 billion in 2010 — versus $15 billion for “trade books” (fiction, literary non-fiction, everything else). That’s depicted in the chart below.

Inkling has 60 employees and hundreds of offshore workers who help format books, which MacInnis said he expects to increase to thousands next year.

Today, Inkling’s best sellers are medical textbooks. The company is eagerly anticipating back-to-school season, especially in a year when many colleges and graduate schools are experimenting with student iPads, MacInnis said.

MacInnis said Inkling will also soon expand beyond textbooks, though he’s keeping the details under wraps for now.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work