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Mumbai Angels Network leads funding in Leadstart Publishing
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Publishing house Leadstart Publishing has raised Rs 3 crore ($429,800) in a funding round led by Mumbai Angels Network.

JITO Angel Network and Hyderabad-based SucSEED Venture Partners, which facilitates and provides funding for startups, also participated in the investment round, said Mumbai Angel Network in a statement on Wednesday.

Leadstart Publishing will use the capital to boost its operations, expand its customer base and develop its technology.

The publishing house, which was founded by Swarup Nanda in 2010, has an integrated platform that allows authors to self-publish globally in multiple languages. The company publishes more than 200 titles annually with imprints and products in all major book categories, the statement said.

Leadstart Publishing's founder Nanda said that its vision is to be the largest publishing house globally while enabling individuals to make commercially viable products and connect them to the world market.

Nanda is a graduate from D Y Patil College of Engineering, and an MBA from the University of Pune. Prior to starting Leadstart Publishing, Nanda had worked with National Geographic Channel and Magna Publishing Co Ltd, according to his LinkedIn profile.

“Their (Leadstart Publishing) tech-driven approach in integrating publishers, platforms, and communities is a key differentiator and we see tremendous growth in this segment both in India and internationally,” said Nandini Mansinghka, chief executive and managing director at Mumbai Angel Network.

Started in 2006, Mumbai Angels has more than 130 firms in its portfolio and has recorded over 30 exits.

Earlier this month, it led an investment of Rs 4 crore (around $625,000) in Dr Sheth’s, a skincare products maker which targets the luxury segment.

Its other investments include fruit snack brand Frubites, specialised diagnostics startup Theranosis, video-based entertainment platform Spoofin and drone startup WeDoSky.

A few startups that publish books beyond school and college textbooks have attracted investor attention.

Last year, Bengaluru-based self-publishing e-platform, Pratilipi, raised $4.3 million (Rs 28 crore) in a Series A funding round led by Omidyar Network.

In 2015, specialty retail firm Fabindia's founder William Bissell, Infosys' co-founder Nandan Nilekani and Boston Consulting Group India’s managing director Neeraj Aggarwal invested an undisclosed amount in publishing startup Juggernaut.

Juggernaut was floated by Chiki Sarkar, former publisher of Penguin India and editor in chief of Random House India, along with Durga Raghunath, CEO and co-founder, who launched Firstpost and was previously CEO, Web18.

Later in December 2017, telecom operator Bharti Airtel acquired a strategic stake in Juggernaut.

In 2016, e-commerce major Amazon had acquired Westland Publications, a subsidiary of Tata Group’s retail firm Trent Ltd. Westland is best known as the publisher of Indian authors including novelists Amish Tripathi and Ashwin Sanghi.

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