Specialized in the hosting and distribution of digital documents, the start-up of Juan Pirlot de Corbion (already founder of Chapitre.com) opens its capital to Iris capital to develop internationally.
The platform for hosting, sharing and reading digital documents, Youscribe, has raised €2 million from the Orange and Publicis funds managed by Iris Capital. The company’s historical investors are also participating in this round of financing “which will allow us to expand internationally and invest in R&D”, says Juan Pirlot de Corbion, the company’s founding director. “We define ourselves as a marketplace that allows anyone to publish any written digital document and to do so free of charge, regardless of the format of the file, the subject matter and its size,” he adds. The company currently references two million documents and is aiming for 30 million by the end of 2015. This growth will be guaranteed by its upcoming expansion into the Spanish, Italian, German and certain Eastern European markets.
“Our business model is based on three pillars: traditional monetization of the audience through advertising, e-commerce since 30% of our catalogue is made up of paid content, and finally a premium account priced between 49 and 229 euros, which allows content providers to benefit from certain advantages,” notes Juan Pirlot de Corbion. This premium account offers the possibility to benefit from a better commission, to offer free access in exchange for a lead, to attach one’s own advertising or to restrict access to a content. “Premium will soon represent 50% of our revenue, which is currently generated equally by e-commerce and advertising.”
While Youscribe hopes to hit profitability as soon as the 10 million referenced documents threshold is reached, the start-up will continue to invest in R&D to provide mobile reading apps by the end of Q1 2013. “We also want to fund an in-house research program to be able to convert any type of document into HTML 5 to better export the content to mobile devices,” explains Juan Pirlot de Corbion. Youscribe also hopes to increase its reputation by counting on the democratization of these virtual players, which can be integrated into any site, as Slideshare is, for example.