August 19, 2013 Last Updated 8:17 am

Digital book publisher Open Road secures $11 million in new round of equity funding

Digital book publisher Open Road announced today that they have secured $11 million in Series C equity financing, led by NewSpring Growth Capital III.

The start-up publisher launched in 20109 and now has raised $26 million in total funding.

“As we have grown, our mission has remained the same: to give authors the marketing support they both need and deserve,” Jane Friedman wrote on the company’s website. “At its heart, Open Road is a marketing company committed to using the latest technological resources to connect our authors with readers.”

“While we feel like we have hit our stride, as we started to look toward the future, we realized there is still much to be done—with the goal in mind of helping authors reach more readers than ever before. We want Open Road to be the premier digital publishing and marketing company for many years to come, and we have many new ideas that we want to put into practice.”

Here is the company’s funding announcement:

RADNOR, PA – August 19, 2013 – NewSpring Capital, a family of private equity funds providing growth and expansion capital, announced today that NewSpring Growth Capital III, the firm’s dedicated technology and business services growth equity fund, led an $11.0 million Series C equity financing in Open Road Integrated Media, Inc. (“Open Road”) with an $8.0 million investment. Existing investors—Kohlberg Ventures, Azure Capital, and Golden Seeds—joined NewSpring in the financing.

Open Road, a digital publisher and multimedia content company, published its first ebook in May 2010. Three short years later, the company publishes and markets just over four thousand ebooks from more than five hundred authors. Open Road’s growing backlist catalog includes literary fiction from authors such as Pat Conroy, Alice Walker, Iris Murdoch, Michael Chabon, and James Jones, as well as writers across a wide variety of verticals and genres, including Pearl S. Buck, Dorothy L. Sayers, Virginia Hamilton, John Jakes, and Octavia E. Butler. The company also works with independent publishers to digitally publish and market their ebooks, both backlist and frontlist titles. In addition, Open Road’s E-riginals publishes a selection of original works. Open Road continuously markets its authors through a proprietary online marketing platform.

“As we continue to build Open Road into the premier digital publishing and marketing company, we welcome NewSpring Capital with all its experience in the digital space,” said Jane Friedman, Open Road’s cofounder and chief executive officer. “With their support and with the continued backing of existing investors Kohlberg Ventures, Azure Capital, and Golden Seeds, Open Road is the company that is looking to the future. It will become the model for the twenty-first century publishing and digital media company.”

Mike DiPiano, managing general partner of NewSpring, who now joins Open Road’s board of directors, said, “There is huge disruption in the publishing industry as business models are rapidly evolving and ebooks are becoming a greater share of overall trade book sales. Open Road, as a digital publisher of ebooks with a focus on the vast number of backlist titles, is perfectly poised to deliver value to its authors, as its marketing approach uniquely focuses on authors as brands and systematically creates authentic connections between the authors and the reader. Jane and her talented team have developed a proven, scalable publishing and marketing platform and we are excited to join the company in its future trailblazing in the industry.”

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