Scribd raises $58M for subscription e-books and audiobooks

Scribd has raised $58 million in new funding led by growth firm Spectrum Equity.

The company first launched as a document-sharing service in 2007 before creating an e-book subscription in 2013. It now offers access to a library of e-books, audiobooks, newspapers and magazines for $8.99 per month. (Access is unlimited for most subscribers, but Scribd can cap the reading and listening of its most active users.)

At the beginning of this year, the company announced that it had more than 1 million paying subscribers. It also said it was seeing more than 100 million visitors each month (many of them brought in by the free document-sharing), it’s been profitable since 2017 and it’s bringing in $100 million in annual recurring revenue.

Since then, the company has launched an original content initiative focused on works that are longer than a magazine article but shorter than a traditional book. It’s also started to create localized experiences for international markets like Mexico.

In the announcement, co-founder and CEO Trip Adler said the new funding “will enable us to continue to operate sustainably and efficiently while accelerating our growth, product innovations, content acquisition and continued investment in our employees.”

Scribd previously raised a total of $47.8 million in funding, according to Crunchbase, most recently in a Series D that was announced nearly five years ago.

Spectrum Equity, meanwhile, has backed companies like Ancestry, Grubhub, Headspace and SurveyMonkey.

“As a differentiated content library, including robust user-generated content and ebooks and audiobooks from top tier publishers, Scribd is poised to be the leading online subscription reading service for consumers across the globe,” said Spectrum Equity Managing Director Pete Jensen in a statement. “Spectrum has been fortunate to be a part of successfully scaling several digital content businesses, and we look forward to partnering with Trip and the entire management team to help make Scribd a part of readers’ everyday lives.”

In addition to announcing the funding, Scribd said it has hired Tony Grimmick as its first chief financial officer, Meghan Cochran as its first vice president of product and Patsy Mangan as its first vice president of people.