Story Terrace today announced it has raised £500,000 ($640,000) to continue its mission to tell the stories of those you love. The customers are typically kids who want to buy a highly personal gift for their parents around an anniversary, or startup founders who have recently exited a business and want to set the record straight — or at least firmly crooked.
“We are building technology to assist our writers in completing the books,” Rutger Bruining, founder and CEO of Story Terrace, tells me. “The bottleneck for us is the design process and we are investing some of the money we raised into automating the process. We want to turn photos and text into a print-ready book.”
Bruining assures me that the automation isn’t because he has a passionate hatred for designers, but because he wants to be able to offer the books to his customers faster than even the most dizzy-fingered of designers is able to accomplish.
“Story Terrace addresses a large, universal problem: Stories fade and are not passed on from generation to generation,” says Rafael Ortiz, who led Story Terrace’s angel round. “Their offering is unique and gaining traction. I’ve been impressed with the team’s understanding of their customers and the progress they are making with the platform. Story Terrace can print a limited number of beautiful books at a fraction of what would have been possible 10 years ago. Altogether, this creates an opportunity to develop a large market.”
The company’s packages start at $1,200 for a short book written by a junior writer and continues all the way up to $6,000 for a longer book by a “critically acclaimed” writer. The company also offers custom work. As part of its early customer evaluation, Story Terrace has completed 160 books, for a total of £350,000 (around $445,000) worth of sales, which would indicate an average price paid per project of $2,750.
“Historically there have always been more people who want to be journalists and writers than the amount of work going around. We have the bonus of being more fun than writing web copy for someone’s website,” Bruining laughs when I query how the company is able to find writers who are willing to do the job at a price point that makes sense. “The interviews are fun and ultimately the work that is being done here is meaningful. We’re in the business of creating family heirlooms that are cherished for generations. It means we are able to attract some really good writers.”
The company is aiming for a Series A to further accelerate growth in the first half of next year.