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Citia Raises $600K as it Pivots From Card-Based eBooks to Websites, Catalogs

One marketing-card[1]of the more novel digital publishing startups of 2012 is back in the news again today with new funds and a new focus.

Citia, a startup which debuted with the goal of producing condensed Cliff Notes type of ebooks from existing titles, has raised $600,000 in a new round of funding. This firm has adapted their card-based organizational concept and is now using it to build websites and apps for a variety of companies.

They’ve moved beyond developing condensed ebooks and are now using their tech to create new content both for the web and as apps. For example, Citia has worked with the digital music retailer eMusic to produce a retrospective called Year In Music 2013. You can find it online as a website, and it’s also available in iTunes as an iPad app.

Citia has crafted a site which lets users browse through and listen to a selection of songs published in 2013. Each song is displayed on its own card, and in addition to streaming the song a user can also read a description or click a link and go buy the song from eMusic. Each individual card has its own URL and can be shared via Twitter, Facebook, or email.

emusic citia

Citia has in effect created a catalog for eMusic, and they are planning to offer this service to other companies as well. This is a good adaptation of their tech, and I would say it’s also a much better use than creating condensed ebooks.

I found Citia’s work to be fascinating in 2012, but I couldn’t see how it would ever be widely adopted by publishers. Citia was in effect suggesting that publishing companies pay the production costs of a new edition of an existing title, which would then only be available on the iPad. Even today, there aren’t enough iPads to justify the expense for most titles (which probably explains why Citia now develops for the web as well).

The new funding comes from angel investors, including David S. Rose and Geoff Judge, and it brings Citia’s total funding to $2.8 million.


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