Reading e-books should be a very social experience — like many other things in life. People should be able to share their reading notes, their reading progress, and their bookmarks with their friends. It should be like a virtual reading group where people can move through books together, discussing the content along the way.
The social-reading subscription service Bookmate says it has 1.5 million monthly readers who feel this way, most of whom are in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and other Russian-speaking markets. The company says it’s taking a $3 million funding round to bring the social-reading magic to more parts of the world in 2014, namely Turkey, Scandinavia, and Latin America.
The investment is coming from Russian consumer electronics retail giant Ulmart, which will gain the opportunity to sell e-books through the Bookmate site.
Currently, Bookmate’s library contains more than 400,000 books from 300 publishers globally. Bookmate says the e-book market is already mature in the U.S. and U.K., but such consumption is just starting to gain traction in less developed markets.