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Inkling inks new publisher deals, $16M funding

E-book platform Inkling has new deals with Pearson and Elsevier, a new $16 million funding round, and has hired new execs.

Inkling makes e-books work on multiple platforms.
Inkling makes e-books work on multiple platforms.

Interactive e-book publishing platform Inkling announced on Wednesday new, multiyear contracts with two major textbook and medical publishers, deals that will expand the number of titles it offers.

The San Francisco-based company, which makes tools for publishers to create and distribute books for tablets, smartphones, and the Web, is now working with publishers Pearson and Elsevier; The two plan to use Inkling's technology to produce digital versions of their books.

In Elsevier's case, it plans to bring more than half a million pages of content, or about 600 books, says Inkling CEO Matt MacInnis.

"This is making those books living documents, and one of the big pluses is that they can make changes at any time and push it out," MacInnis said in an interview.

As a result, the makeup of Inkling's own library of content -- which it sells through its own store -- is set to change. Currently only about a fifth of the company's mostly consumer and academic content is medical, something that is expected to jump to 50 percent from Elsevier's collection, MacInnis estimated.

The deal comes in conjunction with a $16 million series C round of financing led by Sequoia Capital's Growth Fund. MacInnis says that's going into investing into Inkling's capacity to help publishers produce this content, versus the publishers doing it on their own. "We need to have engineers and consultants and account managers. People who work with publishers to make this transition," he said.

Adding to that are a trio of recent vice president hires. That includes former Flipboard biz dev chief Gus Gostyla, who will be doing the same thing at Inkling. There's also former marketing chief of ModCloth and Yola, Hema Padhu, who's Inkling's new marketing VP, as well as former Googler and GoodData CFO Stephane Panier, who joined Inkling in January to be its VP of finance and operations.

MacInnis maintains that the company's vision is to become "a destination for the world's most trustworthy content." It competes with Apple, Amazon, and others with its Habitat tool, which lets both publishers and individuals self-publish to multiple platforms.