The Scribd of Europe, YouScribe raises €2M from Iris Capital

Nov 27, 2012
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YouScribe logoYouScribe announced this morning that they have raised € 2 million from Iris Capital, a leading pan-european VC fund who has partnered with Publicis & Orange in its investments. Founded in January 2011 by Juan Pirlot de Corbion, former head and founder of Chapitre.com, YouScribe is working on the digitalization of written texts, which can be read, shared, commented upon, digitally and on all kinds of reading devices.

This startup may sound eerily similar to Scribd, a US digital document hosting service, and Juan admits that the two have similar visions; however, YouScribe is focusing less on the Anglophone market and more on the European market.

Founder Juan Pirlo de Corbion has spend the last 10 years of his professional career working with publishers, both digital and print, launching Chapitre.com in 1997. Currently hosting just under 2 million documents in French, English & German. Juan plans to monetize the catalogue in a variety of ways: advertisements for free users, an eCommerce section of content producers, and a premium offer for large publishers who will not only have access to their catalague, but will receive a higher commission on each sale (80% instead of 70%). Juan says the on-line advertising market is growing from €13.9 billion in 2012 to over €20 billion in 2015, figures backed by digital think-tank IDate.

With the new round of funding, Juan plans to continue growth across European markets, with plans to roll out in 10 languages in 2013, as well as Mobile applications being released in the near future. Thanks to grant money from OSEO, YouScribe has been developing an HTML5 solution to improve natural SEO, multi-device accessibility (PCs, tablets, mobile phones) and semantic text analysis – I can only imagine how that will help them advance over the next two years.

While YouScribe is mostly focused in French, Spanish & German, the site is entirely operational in English, and Juan says that there are still quite a bit of texts uploaded in English, as well as Russian and many other languages.