Subscription children’s book club startup Literati raises $12 million in funding to accelerate growth
Literati, a subscription children’s book service startup, has secured $12 million in new funding o strategically grow the business and also hire new talent in Austin, a city thriving when it comes to growth, culture and innovation. The round was led by Nikhil Basu Trivedi at Shasta Ventures, with participation from technology leader Dick Costolo of 01 Advisors (former CEO of Twitter), Katie Jacobs Stanton and Jessica Verilli of #Angels, Dan Graham of Austin’s Springdale Ventures, Kevin Hartz (founder of Eventbrite), and others.
For $9.95 per month, Literati curates a box of books based on age along with custom artwork and personalized book labels. Readers have seven days to try out the books and buy those they want to keep. Literati also allows for customers to put any books they no longer use into the prepaid return box, and they have donated more than 18,000 books to charities thus far in 2019. Lierati is currently is used by over 102,856 parents.
Founded in 2016 by Jessica Ewing and Kelly Carroll, Literati is a children’s book club designed to inspire readers for life through its monthly subscription service of curated books for children ages 0-12. Literati subscribers get a box delivered monthly with five new books, original artwork and creative surprises. Literati enables parents to try before they buy and offers free shipping and returns. Literati makes it simple for parents to fill their homes and communities with the world’s best books and to raise kids with a love of reading
“I’ve been on the lookout for the next great consumer subscription business, having invested at Shasta in category-defining brands such as Dollar Shave Club, Imperfect Foods, and The Farmer’s Dog,” said Nikhil Basu Trivedi. “The book market is massive, and Literati’s growth, customer love, and mission really blew me away as I spent time with Jess, Kelly, and the Literati team. I’m thrilled to lead Literati’s Series A and to join the company’s board of directors.”
“Our mission is to build a lasting company that stands for lifelong learning and sparks revolutionary excitement in books and literature,” said Founder and CEO Jessica Ewing. “We hit our stride in this round, adding key investors who really get our vision. We want to build consumer products that make life more meaningful, not merely more efficient.”
“Literati is a shining example of the innovative new companies that are being built outside of Silicon Valley. Jessica’s vision for the company is expansive and inspiring, and it is revolutionizing one of the last undisrupted media channels – the massive books market,” said Dick Costolo. “We are excited to see the next phase of growth for Literati.”
With screen usage now topping 7 hours a day for kids ages 8 to 18, Literati has found a home with parents who value books and are looking for delightful analog experiences. “The curation around themes is incredible and we discover books we’d never discover otherwise,” said Cyan Banister, partner at Founders Fund Pathfinder who led Literati’s seed round of funding. Research shows that creating a steady stream of new age-appropriate books has been shown to nearly triple interest in reading within months.