Bookmate may claim a robust userbase in Asia and eastern Europe but if they’re going to expand into the West then they’re going to need more English language titles, and last week they took steps to repair that lack.
Late last week Bookmate announced deals with the ebook distributors EpubDirect and Ingram, and with and publishers Diversion Books, Legen Press, Casemeat, and Head of Zeus. Counting the existing deals with HarperCollins and other English language publishers, Bookmate now boasts a catalog of over 500,000 titles, including 200,000 titles in English.
(Now if only they had an equal number of titles in Spanish, they would be set for that planned push into Latin America.)
Launched in 2010 as a personal ebook cloud library, Bookmate expanded to include a subscription ebook service. It was originally focused on Russia, but has since expanded into eastern Europe and in December 2014 it launched in Singapore.
Bookmate now boasts 1.5 million users, with an unknown smaller number also paying for the subscription service. Most users read their own ebooks or access the limited number of titles available for free, while others pay for the standard service tier (about $7.65/month) or the premium tier ($12.30/month).
In May of last year it picked up $3 million in a Series A funding round led by the Russian web retailer Ulmart. The funds were intended to be used for expansion into Scandinavia and Latin America, but something tells me that plans have changed.