The Hottest Online Community You've Never Heard Of
Wattpad, an online community of ebook creators and sharers just raised $17.3 million from some serious investors, including Khosla Ventures, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and Union Square Ventures. Perhaps ever more remarkable, some are comparing the Toronto-based company to Pinterest. “Wattpad may not get as many headlines as Pinterest, but it’s seen steady growth since its founding in 2006, and [CEO and founder Allen Lau] points out that in fact, its eight million members spend a combined 1.7 billion minutes on Wattpad each month, more than users spend on Pinterest,” reports betabeat. According to Lau, community members contribute over 500,000 new stories each month to the site, which provides all of its content and publishing tools free to users.
“For this round, we want to put more focus on the product side, including design, engineering and product management,” Lau said. To date, “Because of our traffic, because of our growth, we’ve had to put more and more effort into sustaining activities, like keeping the server running.” In particular, Lau said he wants to focus on mobile offerings, since it considers Wattpad mobile-first company.