‘Crowdfunding publishing house’ Unbound raises £1.2m Forward-led investment

Soho-based author pitching platform allows readers to pledge financial backing to book proposals

Unbound, the publishing house which operates on a rewards-based crowdfunding model, has announced the completion of a £1.2m funding round led by Forward Investment Partners.

Founded in 2011 by publishing and media veterans Dan Kieran, John Mitchinson and Justin Pollard, Unbound.co.uk allows readers to pledge financial backing to authors on the platform in return for rewards, with the average successful pitch raising £15,000 from 500 supporters.

Nearly £1m has been pledged by Unbound readers to date, and the company claims authors receive more favourable terms than if they used traditional publishing houses; they receive 50% royalty on all profits compared to the industry standard of 5-10%.

Today also marks the launch of Unbound’s biggest project to date, Shaun Usher’s Letters of Note, which has already raised £125,000 in advance pledges.

The £1.2m investment, led by Forward Investment Partners with input from venture capital firm DFJ Esprit and investor group Cambridge Angels, will be used to extend Unbound’s innovative model to engage with other aspects of the publishing industry including literary agents, publishers and booksellers.

Dan Kieran, founder and CEO of Unbound, said: “Unbound was founded on a very simple ethos: to bring authors and readers together and to give them all a better, more engaged experience of the publishing process.

“With this funding in place, we are ready to enter the second phase of our plans.”

Nic Brisbourne, director of Forward Investment Partners, commented: “Since Forward’s first investment, the Unbound team has demonstrated that they can use their deep understanding of authors and the demands put upon them by modern publishing to create a unique business that addresses the needs of both writers and publishers.

“Unbound helps authors and publishers stay relevant and continue to make money in a very challenging industry. I am looking forward to helping the team roll out more platforms and channels in the coming months as they turn publishing on its head.”

 

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