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Publishing

31 of the Most Successful Publishing Startups

If you're building a Publishing startup, you must check this list of the 31 most successful ones.

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There are a lot of things to consider when building a new startup - where to get funding, how to validate your idea, and what features should the product have.

One of the challenges, however, is finding a market that is willing to pay for your solution without even knowing what it is yet.

While some people say this makes your idea too vague and hard to monetize, there’s actually good news.

There’s more money in this space than ever before by angels investing in early-stage companies.

If you're building a Publishing startup, you must check these 31 fast-growing companies.


31 Publishing Startups

1) Universal Music Group

1) Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group is a global music publishing, recording, and merchandising company.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: United States
  • City: Santa Monica
  • Started in: 2034
  • Founders: David Gould
  • Number of employees: 10001+
  • Funding amount: $45,368,869,030
  • Number of funding rounds: 3
  • Number of investors: 3

You can find their website here.

2) BuzzFeed

2) BuzzFeed

BuzzFeed is a multiplatform digital media firm that distributes news and entertainment to a global audience.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: United States
  • City: New York
  • Started in: 2006
  • Founders: Ankit Gupta, John Johnson, Jonah Peretti
  • Number of employees: 1001-5000
  • Funding amount: $496,300,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 8
  • Number of investors: 15

You can find their website here.

3) JW Player

3) JW Player

JW Player is a video streaming and analytics platform that includes an HTML5 video player for web content, publishing, and video ad distribution.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: United States
  • City: New York
  • Started in: 2004
  • Founders: Adam Fawer, Brian Rifkin, Dave Otten, Jeroen Wijering
  • Number of employees: 101-250
  • Funding amount: $145,724,984
  • Number of funding rounds: 6
  • Number of investors: 7

You can find their website here.

4) Medium

4) Medium

Medium is a social publishing platform that brings people together to share their thoughts and opinions on important topics.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: United States
  • City: San Francisco
  • Started in: 2011
  • Founders: Biz Stone, Jason Goldman
  • Number of employees: 101-250
  • Funding amount: $132,000,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 3
  • Number of investors: 20

You can find their website here.

5) YourStory

5) YourStory

YourStory.com is a media website that focuses on India's startup scene.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: India
  • City: Bengaluru
  • Started in: 2008
  • Founders: Shradha Sharma
  • Number of employees: 101-250
  • Funding amount: $8,469,522
  • Number of funding rounds: 3
  • Number of investors: 6

You can find their website here.

6) Substack

6) Substack

Substack is a platform allowing freelance writers to create newsletters based on subscriptions.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: United States
  • City: San Francisco
  • Started in: 2017
  • Founders: Christopher Best, Hamish McKenzie, Jairaj Sethi
  • Number of employees: 51-100
  • Funding amount: $82,420,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 4
  • Number of investors: 15

You can find their website here.

7) Business Insider

7) Business Insider

Business Insider is a website that provides the most up-to-date news on business, celebrities, and technology.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: United States
  • City: New York
  • Started in: 2007
  • Founders: Henry Blodget, Kevin Ryan
  • Number of employees: 501-1000
  • Funding amount: $55,600,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 7
  • Number of investors: 15

You can find their website here.

8) Wattpad

8) Wattpad

Wattpad is a digital entertainment business that creates unique tales on an online social storytelling platform.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Canada
  • City: Toronto
  • Started in: 2006
  • Founders: Allen Lau, Ivan Yuen
  • Number of employees: 1001-5000
  • Funding amount: $117,800,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 8
  • Number of investors: 20

You can find their website here.

9) Innovid

9) Innovid

Innovid is the only omni-channel ad and analytics platform created specifically for television.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: United States
  • City: New York
  • Started in: 2007
  • Founders: Tal Chalozin, Zack Zigdon, Zvika Netter
  • Number of employees: 251-500
  • Funding amount: $95,100,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 8
  • Number of investors: 9

You can find their website here.

10) Literati

10) Literati

Literati is a handpicked book subscription service that provides deep stories and thought-provoking debates to every reader on a monthly basis.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: United States
  • City: Austin
  • Started in: 2017
  • Founders: Jessica Ewing, Kelly Carroll
  • Number of employees: 101-250
  • Funding amount: $52,000,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 3
  • Number of investors: 18

You can find their website here.

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11) Vev

11) Vev

The collaborative visual editor for building interactive websites by creatives.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Norway
  • City: Oslo
  • Started in: 2017
  • Founders: Fredrik Evjen Ekli, Nicolay Thafvelin, Tine Karlsen
  • Number of employees: 11-50
  • Funding amount: $7,153,116
  • Number of funding rounds: 4
  • Number of investors: 5

You can find their website here.

12) Pratilipi

12) Pratilipi

Pratilipi is a platform for language storytelling that connects readers, writers, and their stories.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: India
  • City: Bengaluru
  • Started in: 2015
  • Founders: Prashant Gupta, Rahul Ranjan, Ranjeet Pratap Singh, Sahradayi Modi, Sankaranarayanan Devarajan
  • Number of employees: 51-100
  • Funding amount: $29,833,055
  • Number of funding rounds: 5
  • Number of investors: 12

You can find their website here.

13) DanAds

13) DanAds

DanAds is a white label self-serve ad-desk for small and medium advertisers for publishers.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Sweden
  • City: Sollentuna
  • Started in: 2013
  • Founders: Istvan Beres, Peo Persson
  • Number of employees: 51-100
  • Funding amount: $15,136,167
  • Number of funding rounds: 6
  • Number of investors: 12

You can find their website here.

14) Canva

14) Canva

Canva is an online design and publishing platform that offers non-designers easy-to-use creative tools.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Australia
  • City: Sydney
  • Started in: 2012
  • Founders: Cameron Adams, Cliff Obrecht, Melanie Perkins
  • Number of employees: 501-1000
  • Funding amount: $372,555,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 15
  • Number of investors: 32

You can find their website here.

15) Hungama

15) Hungama

The largest aggregator, developer, publisher, and distributor of Bollywood and South Asian content is Hungama Digital Media Entertainment.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: India
  • City: Mumbai
  • Started in: 2099
  • Founders: Neeraj Roy
  • Number of employees: 501-1000
  • Funding amount: $165,000,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 3
  • Number of investors: 4

You can find their website here.

16) Global Savings Group

16) Global Savings Group

The Global Savings Group (GSG) is Europe's largest shopping incentives firm, enabling individuals to buy more wisely.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Germany
  • City: Munich
  • Started in: 2012
  • Founders: Adrian Renner, Andreas Fruth, Gerhard Trautmann, Pedro Clavería
  • Number of employees: 501-1000
  • Funding amount: € 65,500,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 9
  • Number of investors: 7

You can find their website here.

17) Pencil

17) Pencil

Pencil is a free content publishing platform that allows authors to share their work with the world.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: India
  • City: Mumbai
  • Started in: 2019
  • Founders: Malini Nair, Preeti Chib, Swarup Nanda
  • Number of employees: 101-250
  • Funding amount: $1,419,129
  • Number of funding rounds: 3
  • Number of investors: 7

You can find their website here.

18) Quintype Technologies

18) Quintype Technologies

Publishers and content creators can use an API-driven CMS to develop rich content, distribute it across platforms, and monetize it.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: India
  • City: Bengaluru
  • Started in: 2014
  • Founders: Amit Rathore
  • Number of employees: 51-100
  • Funding amount: $6,672,297
  • Number of funding rounds: 2
  • Number of investors: 2

You can find their website here.

19) PPTV

19) PPTV

PPTV is a Chinese internet video network technology platform that provides enjoyment through TV shows, news, and other material.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: China
  • City: Shanghai
  • Started in: 2004
  • Founders: Bill Yao
  • Number of employees: 101-250
  • Funding amount: $706,500,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 5
  • Number of investors: 7

You can find their website here.

20) Tech in Asia

20) Tech in Asia

With yearly conferences in Singapore, Tokyo, and Jakarta, Tech in Asia (YC W15) is the go-to media platform for Asia's tech community.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Singapore
  • City: Singapore
  • Started in: 2010
  • Founders: Willis Wee
  • Number of employees: 51-100
  • Funding amount: $16,990,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 6
  • Number of investors: 10

You can find their website here.

21) Tickled Media

21) Tickled Media

Tickled Media is a digital publishing house and tech firm that focuses on content and community platforms for women.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Singapore
  • City: Singapore
  • Started in: 2009
  • Founders: Roshni Mahtani
  • Number of employees: 51-100
  • Funding amount: $7,319,437
  • Number of funding rounds: 5
  • Number of investors: 12

You can find their website here.

22) Inkitt

22) Inkitt

Inkitt is a digital publishing platform that predicts book success based on reader behavior using a computer algorithm.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Germany
  • City: Berlin
  • Started in: 2014
  • Founders: Ali Albazaz
  • Number of employees: 51-100
  • Funding amount: $21,000,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 3
  • Number of investors: 20

You can find their website here.

23) Tripoto Travel Private Limited

23) Tripoto Travel Private Limited

The world's largest travel community and marketplace platform is based in India.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: India
  • City: New Delhi
  • Started in: 2013
  • Founders: Anirudh Gupta, Michael Pargal Lyngdoh
  • Number of employees: 101-250
  • Funding amount: $8,000,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 6
  • Number of investors: 15

You can find their website here.

24) Sanar

24) Sanar

Sanar is a platform that focuses on serving as a guide and support for doctors, providing specific content that aids in their professional development.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Brazil
  • City: Salvador
  • Started in: 2014
  • Founders: Ubiraci Mercês
  • Number of employees: 251-500
  • Funding amount: $11,500,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 2
  • Number of investors: 4

You can find their website here.

25) Homa Games

25) Homa Games

Homa Games specializes on mobile game publishing, user acquisition, and monetization.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: France
  • City: Paris
  • Started in: 2018
  • Founders: Daniel Nathan
  • Number of employees: 11-50
  • Funding amount: $15,000,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 1
  • Number of investors: 6

You can find their website here.

26) Kakao Japan

26) Kakao Japan

Kakao Japan is a free smartphone messaging and calling software.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Japan
  • City: Tokyo
  • Started in: 2011
  • Number of employees: 51-100
  • Funding amount: ¥70,000,000,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 2
  • Number of investors: 3

You can find their website here.

27) Bauer Media

27) Bauer Media

Bauer Media is a magazine publisher that publishes a variety of media.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Germany
  • City: Hamburg
  • Started in: 1875
  • Number of employees: 11-50
  • Funding amount: £1,800,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 1

You can find their website here.

28) Daydaycook

28) Daydaycook

DayDayCook is a Hong Kong-based internet publisher and merchandiser for Asian cookery.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Hong Kong
  • City: Sheung Wan
  • Started in: 2012
  • Founders: Norma Chu, Sam Lim
  • Number of employees: 11-50
  • Funding amount: $40,075,889
  • Number of funding rounds: 5
  • Number of investors: 9

You can find their website here.

29) E-Poets Society

29) E-Poets Society

A digital publishing platform with a content development engine that works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, offering Arabic users with original literature e-books.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: Croatia
  • City: Zagreb
  • Started in: 2020
  • Founders: Pamela Osman, Ralph Younes
  • Number of employees: 11-50
  • Funding amount: € 200,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 2
  • Number of investors: 1

You can find their website here.

30) Dongqiudi

30) Dongqiudi

Dongqiudi is a website that provides news, commentary, league rankings, and video feeds of football matches from across the world.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: China
  • City: Beijing
  • Started in: 2013
  • Founders: Chen Cong
  • Number of employees: 1-10
  • Funding amount: $66,442,502
  • Number of funding rounds: 3
  • Number of investors: 3

You can find their website here.

31) Happy Elements

31) Happy Elements

Happy Elements focuses on social, web, and mobile game creation as well as publishing services.

Details of the startup:

  • Country: China
  • City: Beijing
  • Started in: 2009
  • Founders: Rony Xu
  • Number of employees: 501-1000
  • Funding amount: $35,000,000
  • Number of funding rounds: 2
  • Number of investors: 2

You can find their website here.

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