BookClub Raises $6 Million Seed Financing to Scale Author-led Book Clubs

SALT LAKE CITY–()–BookClub​, a platform created to scale author-led book clubs, demonstrates that even in the midst of a pandemic, there’s funding to be had with the announcement of their $6 million seed round. The confluence of shelter-in-place, political unrest, and shifting educational norms have all driven an increased interest in finding new ways of connecting people to learn and discuss. BookClub is the first platform designed to connect readers directly with the author to learn together and inspire life-changing conversation.

The founding team includes David Blake, Eric Sharp, Emily Campbell, the Degreed co-founders and early product leader, respectively.

Maveron​ led the round, with participation from ​GSV Ventures​, ​Signal Peak Ventures​, and ​Pelion Venture Partners​. Mike Levinthal also joined the round as a private investor. BookClub will use the funds to establish a portfolio of authors on the platform across both fiction and non-fiction book titles, create cinematic video experiences with authors, and build a unique community platform for 1:1 interactions with authors and book groups.

The BookClub experience will be unlike anything available to authors and readers today. On their platform, authors can join your personal book group, lead virtual discussion groups, share exclusive interviews, engage in video-based Q&A’s and more; bringing their content to life for readers who want to dive deeper into a text with the ultimate authority.

“One of the surprises revealed in the data set built at Degreed is that people learn more in their lifetime from books and authors than they do from any other source, including college and professors, which makes authors the largest group of experts in the world,” said David Blake, BookClub CEO and co-founder. “Where nearly every category of expert (professors, engineers, athletes, celebrities, etc.) has a platform to scale and share their expertise, authors do not. Nowhere is there a dedicated home to bring authors and readers together. Our video-based learning platform is devoted to fostering these conversations. It establishes community, allowing club members to feel like they’ve been let in on the authors’ greatest secret while writers get to share their work in an entirely new way.”

The need for the BookClub experience has become more apparent amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Opportunities for authors to promote their work and meet fans at book signings, lectures, and events have disappeared. Concurrently, many readers are experiencing a growing sense of social isolation as they spend more time at home. BookClub will help, bringing authors and readers together for meaningful interaction during COVID and beyond.

“Over the past several years, online book clubs have taken off. Even celebrities like Oprah and Reese Witherspoon have jumped onboard. We are excited to scale the model in a way that gives all authors the chance to participate,” said Jason Stoffer of Maveron. “Since the start of COVID, it was plain to see that it is time for a new model, one that opens up new opportunities for authors and readers. We first got to know CEO David Blake a decade ago and he is a prescient trendsetter in education​—​we are excited to back David and team to build a business that will delight millions of consumers globally.”

To stay up-to-date on BookClub as the company prepares for launch, join the waitlist by visiting​ ​bookclub.com​.

About BookClub

BookClub is the world’s first virtual book club platform led by authors themselves. Video-based and mobile-first, BookClub provides an entirely new way for readers and writers to connect and discuss books. The company was founded by education, technology, and production industry veterans. It is backed by Maveron, GSV Ventures, Signal Peak, Pelion Venture Partners and individual investors including Mike Levinthal. Learn more at​ ​bookclub.com​.

Authors and publishers can inquire at ​authors@bookclub.com​.

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