Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Wattpad Takes Quick $17.3M for Thriving E-Book Community

Wattpad, a booming e-book community site, has raised $17.3 million led by Khosla Ventures, and including Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, Union Square Ventures and Golden Venture Partners.

Check out that growth chart on the right. The site now hosts five million stories, with 500,000 added per month. It has eight million monthly unique users who spent 1.7 billion minutes on the site in May.

Some 70 percent of Wattpad users are women, and 70 percent of usage is on mobile devices, according to CEO Allen Lau.

Who wants to read e-books by unpublished authors? A whole lot of people. For instance, a book by teen author Jordan Lynde (a.k.a. XxSkater2Girl16xX on Wattpad) about a relationship between a teacher and a student, has been read nearly 20 million times. And some Wattpad writers are now signing big publishing deals.

Wattpad is based in Toronto and has 15 employees, about half of whom are on its community management team. It had just raised a previous round of funding in August, much of which it has yet to spend, but took more money now, because “our growth blew away our most optimistic projections,” Lau said.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus