Kiwi software firm Booktrack - which adds music and other
ambient audio to e-books - has raised US$2 million from
investors and is now being backed by Warehouse founder Sir
Booktrack says it offers readers a "movie-like sound
experience" by mixing audio with novels or short stories
being read on a computer or tablet device and counts Facebook
billionaire Peter Thiel among its investors.
The company just closed its latest round of capital raising
and took in around $2 million, said chief executive Paul
Cameron said the company continued to receive support from
the likes of Thiel, and the New Zealand Venture Investment
Fund as well as new investment from Tindall's K1W1 fund and
Park Road Post Productions, which produced the sound from the
Hobbit and Lord of the Rings films.
A Japanese company, efu investment, also put money into the
firm as did Phil Veal, the chairman of Kiwi expats
Cameron said the funds will be used to provide the tools for
others to create Booktrack-style texts.
"At the moment we've brought a good idea to market and its
had a good reaction and good traction. The next phase is we
want to provide the tools for anyone to create a Booktrack
for any text. We're creating a platform for that to happen
and that will be rolled out over the next 12 months," he
Cameron said the company has also done a deal with Park Road
Post, for the studio to do all the audio content for
Booktrack's premium releases.
"If we're working with a big name author or other premium
content, then they will be producing all the audio for that.
The current example of that would be the Bible. We've just
released the gospels and the New Testament will be out soon
and all of the sound for that will be done by Park Road Post.
Founded in August last year, Booktrack is backed by tech
heavyweights such as Thiel and The Hyperfactory co-founder
The company has worked with big name authors such as Salman
Rushdie and John Psathas is among its composers.
Despite having sales staff in overseas markets, most of
Booktrack's R&D is done from New Zealand.
The company picked up honours at this year's NZ High Tech
Awards, scooping up the Innovative Software Product prize.
- By Hamish Fletcher of the New Zealand Herald