Graphicly is about to close a $1 million bridge round of funding, as first revealed in a regulatory filing.
The company started out as a marketplace for digital comics, but last year it launched a new set of tools aimed at helping publishers distribute their content onto a wide range of platforms, including iOS, Android, and Kindle. CEO Micah Baldwin told me today that things have been taking off, with millions of dollars in annual revenue and 1,500 percent growth year-over-year. (And even though it’s no longer focused exclusively on comics, it recently announced a big comics deal to distribute more than 60 Peanuts titles.)
Baldwin added that the funding is supposed to get Graphicly to profitability, which the company should reach by the middle of 2013. At that point, the startup may raise a larger Series B.
And he has other plans for 2013. Right now, he said that building a native app based on a book is an expensive process, so as an alternative, he wants to add more and more interactivity and app-like capabilities to e-books created in the Graphicly platform.
“Publishers seem to want it and desire it,” he said. “They’re stuck in this world of doing apps, which are just really expensive.”
That strategy won’t just add capabilities for existing Graphicly customers — it will also allow the company to expand into new areas. As an example, he said that quick and easy publishing of interactive e-books could dramatically change education, with students turning in their assignments in e-book format.
Baldwin said the funding comes mostly from existing investors. The company has now raised about $6 million from backers, including Mercury Fund, 500 Startups, Dundee Venture Capital, Ludlow Ventures, and Venture51.
You can read more about Baldwin’s publishing strategy in this interview.