Media company YourStory has acquired Papyrus Editor, an online e-book editing an publishing platform for an undisclosed amount in an all cash and stock deal. “We want everyone to be able to tell their stories. The acquisition of Papyrus is a significant step towards achieving this objective,” said Shradha Sharma, founder and CEO of the company.
Papyrus will get access to YourStory’s user base and help in improving its product, said Gaurav Tiwari, the founder of Papyrus. Tiwari will join YourStory as its key technology lead, work with a team of engineers and build YourStory’s technology products, primarily its user generated content platform in Indian languages, slated to launch in January next year. Papyrus lets its users create self-designed e-books, including designing the cover, and can import content from the web or create new content. To sell a book, a user can set a price and click on ‘publish’.
Funding: In August, YourStory had raised an undisclosed amount of funding (its first) in a Series A round led by Kalaari Capital and with participation from Qualcomm Ventures, T V Mohandas Pai and Ratan Tata. With this, it launched a tech portal that would publish original stories in various Indian languages starting with Telugu, Bengali, Hindi, Marathi, Kannada and Tamil.
The company mentioned then that it would “give every Indian the power to tell their stories in their own language through text, voice or video”, users would be able to sign up and write their own stories to contribute to the platform. However, the platform also mentioned that it would have a team to create content, hence it is unclear what kind of publishing structure it would follow.
As of now, YourStory claims that it has written about 21,000 entrepreneurs and is available in 13 Indian languages: Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Oriya, Gujarati, Punjabi, Assamese and Urdu other than English. Founded by Sharma in 2008, it currently operates the platforms HerStory, SocialStory, YourStory Research, MobileSparks and TechSparks among others.
Developments in the e-books space:
– In September, ecommerce player Flipkart exited the ebooks market, and was evaluating its eBooks strategy to redefine its digital offerings.
– In the same month, Amazon’s Kindle Scout programme was extended to writers in India where writers could submit never-published, novel-length English-language manuscripts under Kindle Press, the company’s digital publishing banner. In the same month, it launched Kindle Unlimited, a subscription service which would give readers access to over one million books for a limited period.
– In August, the Oxford University Press launched its online English learning and assessment product Oxford Achievers targeted at school children in Class I-VIII in Hyderabad, along with Oxford Educate Premium which integrated ebooks with interactive tools and learning material.
– In June, as part of the Digital India programme, the government launched a new portal for students to download school books and ebooks.
– In the same month, Rockstand partnered with READ India to give away various e-books to villagers at 16 READ India centres across the country.
– In June 2014, Handygo Technologies’ e-book & digital magazine initiative Rockstand tied up with the higher education textbook publisher Wiley Publication India to strengthen its academic content portfolio.
– News Hunt (now Daily Hunt) started offering e-books across four Indian languages, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil and Malayalam along with English in November 2013.
Image Credit: Sam Churchill