Austin-based Literati, a premier book club for children, has raised $12 million in a Series A funding round led by Nikhil Basu Trivedi, Managing Director at Shasta Ventures.
Other investors who participated in the round include Dick Costolo of 01 Advisors and former Twitter CEO, Katie Jacobs Stanton and Jessica Verilli, founding partners of #Angels, Dan Graham of Springdale Ventures, Kevin Hartz, founder of Evenbrite, Thomas Lehrman, founder of GLG, and Allan Hubbard, former director of the National Economic Council, and follow-on investments from Fund Pathfinder and Silverton Partners.
Literati also received additional funding from Brent Montgomery at Wheelhouse, which is backed by comedian and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.
Founded in 2016 by Jessica Ewing and Kelly Carroll, Literati is designed to inspire readers for life through its monthly subscription service of curated books for children ages 0-12. Built around the idea that reading and books are critical to a child’s development, Literati scours the globe every month to find exceptional age-appropriate books curated by theme. For $9.95 monthly subscription, the company delivers five curated books in a magical package personalized to the child. Literati packages also come with custom artwork and personalized book labels. Readers have seven days to explore the books and buy the ones they want to keep. They can return which they don't like without any cost.
Literati also allows for customers to send back any books they no longer use via a prepaid return box, which they use to donate to charities. The company is said to have donated more than 18,000 books to charities till date.
Speaking about its mission, Jessica Ewing, Founder and CEO of Literati, said,
“Our mission is to build a lasting company that stands for lifelong learning and sparks revolutionary excitement in books and literature. We want to build consumer products that make life more meaningful, not merely more efficient.”
Lauding the mission of Literati and commenting on leading the Series A funding round, Nikhil Basu Trivedi said,
“I’ve been on the lookout for the next great consumer subscription business, having invested at Shasta in category-defining brands such as Dollar Shave Club, Imperfect Foods, and The Farmer’s Dog. The book market is massive, and Literati’s growth, customer love, and mission really blew me away as I spent time with Jess, Kelly, and the Literati team. I’m thrilled to lead Literati’s Series A and to join the company’s board of directors.”
Describing the company as ‘shining example’, Dick Costolo, former Twitter CEO and investor of the round, also commented saying,
“Literati is a shining example of the innovative new companies that are being built outside of Silicon Valley. Jessica’s vision for the company is expansive and inspiring, and it is revolutionizing one of the last undisrupted media channels – the massive books market. We are excited to see the next phase of growth for Literati.”
Meanwhile, the company said that it will use the new capital to grow the subscription service business and expand its team by hiring new talent.