Digital publishing startups from Europe

10 European Digital Startups to Reinvent Publishing Industry

Publishing and media industry is dead? Noway. Perhaps, publishers have been experiencing some problems over the past decade, but the odds are that there’s never been a good time for this kind of business.

Certainly, publishing landscape has changed substantially, and while traditional outlets are struggling to adapt, digital segment of the industry is growing very fast. Europe is not an exception in this regard, moving toward the largest ebook market in the world, worth $19 billion, by 2017.

Here are 10 promising digital startups that may cause significant impact on the publishing and media industry in 2015 and beyond.

Piano Media

1. Piano Media:
Head office: Vienna, Austria
Profile: Founded about 4 years ago in Slovakia, Piano Media is a company helping news organizations and publishers set up digital paywalls. In September 2014, Piano Media – which is headquartered in Vienna with offices in New York, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland – acquired its larger, American competitor Press+.


2. Blendle:
Head office: Utrecht, The Netherlands
Profile: Blendle wants to bring the iTunes model to journalism by letting readers buy individual articles (for €0.10 to €0.30 a pop) from various newspapers and publishers. Six months after its launch earlier this year, the startup secured €3 million in Series A funding from Axel Springer and The New York Times Company.


3. PressPad:
Head office: Krakow, Poland
Profile: Polish startup PressPad, established in 2011, aims to be a mobile app and marketing platform for magazine publishers. PressPad – which offers tiered pricing plans for clients – has raised a little over $260,000 in funding, according to CrunchBase.


4. Sellfy:
Head office: Riga, Latvia
Profile: Whether you’re a writer, designer or any other digital content producer, Sellfy wants to help you distribute and sell your content in a few clicks. The platform for self-publishers, which was founded in 2011, is backed by Skype co-founder Toivo Annus.


5. Ghost:
Head office: London, UK
Profile: With the aim to “revolutionise the world of online publishing”, Ghost first pitched its open source blogging platform on Kickstarter last year. Since raising close to £200,000 through the campaign – surpassing its goal of £25,000 – Ghost has released a number of updates to its elegantly designed platform.


6. Movellas:
Head office: Copenhagen, Denmark / London, UK
Profile: Launched in 2010, Movellas is a publishing platform that lets users write and publish their stories as well as receive feedback from the community. The idea behind Movella is based on the Japanese concept of “Keitai Shousetsu“, meaning ‘mobile phone novel’, which became a popular literary genre.


7. ShareWall:
Head office: London, UK
Profile: Founded in March of this year, ShareWall wants to offer a new model for publishers by introducing ‘social currency’, which involves users getting access to content based on how many times they share an article with their social network. The startup has raised a seed round of £150,000 so far.


8. ReadWave:
Head office: London, UK
Profile: Owned and operated by online writing community Circalit, ReadWave is “a place for sharing 3-minute stories”. The publishing platform, which has a 800-word limit, hopes to build a community for aspiring journalists to upload articles on certain themes and receive feedback.


9. Liberio:
Head office: Berlin, Germany
Profile: Founded in 2013, Liberio is an eBook publishing platform that rolled out its Google Drive-based service in July of this year. The aim? To simplify the process of creating, publishing and distributing eBook projects – and all for free.


10. Reedsy:
Head office: London, UK
Profile: Reedsy, founded this year, is startup that wants to help connect publishing professionals (authors with editors, book designers, etc.) via its marketplace as well as provide tools for project collaboration. The UK startup has received €30,000 from Seedcamp and Scottish publishing company D. C. Thomson.

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