digital publishing

Publishing company Juggernaut Books which focuses on pushing content on mobile first has raised an undisclosed round of funding from FabIndia’s founder William Bissell, Infosys’ co-founder Nandan Nilekani and Neeraj Aggarwal, managing director of Boston Consulting Group India, reports Iamwire.

The company was founded by Chiki Sarkar, former publisher at Penguin India and editor in chief of Random House, and Durga Raghunath (who functions as CEO), who launched Firstpost and was CEO Web18.

Other core members of the platform include veterans from the publishing industry such Nandini Mehta, R. Sivapriya, Jaishree Ram Mohan and Gavin Morris. Mehta and Sivapriya will function as executive editors,  Morris as art director and Ram Mohan as managing editor.

The site is currently in beta phase and will provide writers a digital and physical platform for books.  The company would publish books in every genre including literature, commercial, children’s, business and lifestyle. Though the business model of the platform is unclear, Iamwire reports that Juggernaut will explore new ways of commissioning books, rethink the reading experience on mobile devices, book distribution and payments. MediaNama tried reaching out to Raghunath several times to ask about the business model and we will update once we hear from her.

The Hindu reports that the company will publish 50 titles each year, starting from April 2016. It will be distributed and warehoused by Hachette India.

Other developments in publishing

– Earlier in the day, it was reported that Raghav Bahl-owned Quintillion Media’s publishing product Quintype raised $3.25 million from Bahl himself and other unnamed investors. Quintype is looking to beat WordPress at its own game. The platform offers a software-as-a-service based product for publishers to manage editorial assignments & collaborating editing, publish to various formats including mobile phones, tablets, desktop and develop apps for iOS & Android. Other features include predictive analytics for scheduling articles, reader management, social media integration, content recommendation engine and an integrated ad engine among others.

– In September, it was reported that Amazon is expected to launch a version of the Kindle which supports Indian languages in December or January. Around the same time, Amazon’s Kindle Scout programme was extended to writers in India which will allow them to submit never-published, novel-length English-language manuscripts under Kindle Press, the company’s digital publishing banner.

 

– In December last year, digital publishing firm Newgen KnowledgeWorks secured $32.8 million from the Carlyle Group in return for 54.85% stake in the company. Carlyle mentioned then that it acquired the stake owned by Franklin Templeton Private Equity Strategy, Aureos South Asia Fund and ePlanet Capital in the company. Note that Carlyle had earlier exited from Newgen by selling its majority stake to these three investors in July 2011.

–  Earlier in October, Bangalore-based publishing services firm MPS acquired editorial and content creation firm EPS in New York. The terms of the deal were undisclosed but MPS had said this move will strengthen its position in North America and help develop a portfolio for the education publishing market.

Image source: Flickr user Sean MacAntee