Vancouver-based ebook startup BitLit announced on Thursday that they had closed a seed round of funding. The amount raised in the round was not disclosed.
BitLit, which launched last year, has developed a platform which enables publishers to bundle an ebook or other digital content with their paper books.In mnay ways it is similar to the Amazon Matchbook program, only free of Amazon's tentacles. Also, it is platform agnostic.
The Bitlit system is based around an app for Android and iOS, and it requires a camera-equipped smartphone or tablet. In order for a book buyer to get the free ebook, they need to take an identifying photo of the book's cover and of the personalized copyright page (you have to write your name in the book). Once the book owner has taken the 2 photos and uploaded them to BitLit, they will get an email with links to the ebook in DRM-free Kindle and Epub formats.
Bitlit's new investors include former Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis along with Mike Volker, BDC Venture Capital, and Jim Fletcher. This is the first investment from Serbinins's new Three Angels Capital fund, which was launched earlier this year. The fund focuses on “early stage tech companies seeking angel investment” and likes “disruptive platform plays with global aspirations".
The startup has not received much press attention yet, but it has signed partnerships with 85 publishers, including Angry Robot Books, O’Reilly, and more. They boast a catalog of over 10,000 titles, and about 30% of BitLit’s bundled ebooks are free if you own the print copy or with the purchase of a print edition.