The round was led by Inventus Capital Partners, with Inventus’ Manu Rekhi joining the board of directors. The firm, which recently raised a $106 million second fund, touts its ability to connect Silicon Valley entrepreneurs with “India’s natural advantages”, but in this case FarFaria CEO Ajay Godwhani told me that he plans to stay focused on the US market for now. (In the FarFaria funding release, Rekhi also said digital subscription services are a “key theme” for the firm.)
Godwhani argued that offering a curated library of books through a subscription model is ideal for children’s books, because it means bookworms can read title after title without having to pay for more books, and parents don’t have to worry whether the content is appropriate. (Other children’s book subscription services include MeeGenius and Reading Rainbow.)
He also said FarFaria adds five new books every week, with 600 books in the library already — 20 percent is licensed from traditional publishers, while the rest comes from independent creators. The content that’s most-liked by readers is also “the most heavily rewarded,” Godwhani said.
Other features include a “Read To Me” feature (so parents don’t have to be there to read to there kids, though they can if they want to) and map-like menu for finding books.
“The layout, the design, the colors — it’s less Silicon Valley, more like what Disney or Hollywood do,” Rekhi said. Noting that Godwhani used to work with Disney Interactive, Rekhi added, “It’s a good marriage between his experiences.”
Next, Godwhani said he wants to continue growing the library and add more devices.
FarFaria offers one story per day for free — beyond that, a subscription costs $3.99 per month. You can download the app here.